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Drug and Alcohol Problems in Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California is fighting a deadly war against methamphetamines, opioids, and other drugs. Kern County, where Bakersfield is located, lost 533 out of 100,000 people due to drug-related deaths in 2016. In 2017, numbers increased to 607 deaths per 100,000 people. Early 2018 statistics suggest that this has once again increased, to 631 drug-related deaths per 100,000 people.

In recent years, Bakersfield has seen 1,917 rehab admissions, reflecting 2.5% of the total local population struggling with substance abuse disorders. 19.3% of treatment seekers were searching for marijuana rehab , and 11.6% were looking for heroin rehab. An additional 12.1% of Bakersfield rehab patients were treated for alcoholism.

Methamphetamine Abuse in Bakersfield

Unlike most of the country, Methamphetamine use in Bakersfield is a greater cause for local concern than the the opioid epidemic, although both types of chemicals are dangerous. Continuing increases in methamphetamine use, methamphetamine-related crimes, and methamphetamine addictions are greatly concerning state and local officials.

In former years, 49.9% of Bakersfield drug admissions were for individuals seeking treatment for meth abuse. Drug-related arrests commonly include meth, and local police have confiscated 743 grams of meth from a single local drug dealer.

Bakersfield is a high-trafficking area for meth, and as a result, the city has many meth labs due to high demand. Meth can easily be prepared in someone’s home. When individuals make meth, they subject their homes to the toxic fumes the drug released. In several cases, homes have exploded from the combination of chemicals and fire, injuring or killing residents.

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The Opioid Epidemic in Bakersfield

Although methamphetamine abuse is a greater local concern, Kern County has been hit very hard by the opioid epidemic. In 2016, the county experienced 54 fatal opioid-related overdoses; many of the victims were ages 60 to 65. Oildale, a smaller city in Kern County surrounding Bakersfield is renowned for its market for heroin and other illicit drugs. Consequently, 1,600 drug-related deaths occurred in the small city, reflecting the high demand for illicit substances. Most of those battling with opioid abuse start with prescription opioids for severe injuries. Medical patients who take prescription opioids develop a tolerance, transitioning to illicit opioids like heroin.

Methamphetamine Abuse Symptoms

Meth, or crystal meth, is a highly addictive and harmful substance that takes many forms. Victims of meth abuse can orally ingest, inject, snort, or smoke the drug for its effects. One use is enough to change someone’s life from drug-free to one resulting in damaged skin, brain damage and changes in personality.  In addition to physical symptoms, meth abuse can cause damage and behavioral problems to the user. If you are worried that a loved one is suffering from meth addiction, look for the following signs:

  • Career instability
  • Financial difficulties
  • Elated moods
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Agitation/aggression
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tooth decay
  • Brain disease
  • Jaw clenching
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Death

Hope for Recovery in Bakersfield

Although addiction is a terrible and tragic condition, all hope is not lost. Attempting to detox at home is dangerous and can lead to fatal results. Treatment not only includes 1 on 1 therapy, but also peer group exposure for connections and support. Change is a phone call away. Contact a treatment provider now.

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College Programs

BC Counseling

Bakersfield College

1801 Panorama Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93305

CSUB Counseling Center

California State University-Bakersfield

9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA 93311

AA and NA Meetings in Bakersfield

Name Address Fellowship Hours
KERN COUNTY CENTRAL OFFICE INTERGROUP 925 17th Street (Corner of 17th & "O"), Bakersfield, CA 93301 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Monday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, Tuesday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, Wednesday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, Thursday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, Friday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

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