Drug Abuse Trends in Long Beach
Long Beach is southern California’s third-largest (and Los Angeles County’s second-largest) city. The area is well-known for its surf-perfect beaches and party culture, as well as the drug abuse rampant in those scenes. In the LA-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, 15.4% of the population abuses illicit drugs annually. An estimated 9% of Long Beach residents could be classified as having a substance use disorder in the past year. The most commonly abused substances are:
Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse in Long Beach
Though the rate of overdose deaths in Long Beach is lower than the national average, the numbers are still alarmingly high. Prescription opioid deaths in Long Beach are higher than that of surrounding cities in Los Angeles County. In the previous year, 28% of those with an opioid addiction were prescribed opioids by their doctor. Because the risk of long-term opioid abuse increases considerably after 5 days of regular use, many California doctors now prescribe lower quantities of painkillers.
The crackdown on prescription medication has spawned a sharp rise in heroin addiction, as people seek cheaper and more easily available means to feel “normal.” Heroin and opioid addictions can be some of the harshest addictions because of their “hold” over people. These substances hijack the pleasure center of the brain, forcing addiction sufferers to seek out increasing amounts of the drug to get the same high.
We’re definitely seeing an uptick of heroin in Long Beach, and more young people are using it..
Vicodin and OxyContin are commonly abused opiates but cost $40 daily on the black market (compared to $10 for heroin). Due to increased demand, the amount of heroin seized at the southwest border has tripled in recent years.
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Alcoholism in Long Beach
Though other substances have higher addiction rates, alcohol remains one of the most commonly abused substances in California. Long Beach’s party scene contributes to this, and alcohol is often abused alongside other illicit substances. Significant alcohol abuse continues to be a public concern for Long Beach residents. Until very recently, the second-leading cause of premature death and disability was alcohol-related. Violent crime, vehicle crashes, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, sexual and domestic assault, robbery, homicide, and accidental death generally accompany high rates of alcohol abuse. Rates of binge drinking in the region are high, resulting in an estimated 4,420 motor vehicle crashes; 6,338 injuries; 63,424 emergency room visits; and 2,800 deaths in Los Angeles County in one year.
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Addiction and Abuse Statistics for Long Beach
In 2013, approximately 80,000 years of life were lost due to alcohol-related deaths.
An estimated 8.7% of Long Beach residents could be classified as having a substance use disorder.
In one year, $10.3 billion was forfeited in healthcare and lost productivity costs due to substance abuse.
Addiction Treatment Services in Long Beach
For individuals suffering from addiction in Long Beach, there are many options when seeking treatment. Los Angeles County is home to some of the nation’s most popular and luxurious addiction treatment centers. California also maintains a number of programs that ensure adequate detox care and rehab services are available to its residents. Every Los Angeles County resident is eligible for access to no-cost substance use treatment services at any provider in the Department of Health and Human Services network. Residents cannot be charged any fees (if they meet medical necessity) or turned away, even when an application is incomplete.
Ninety days to a year-long rehab program is often recommended for individuals recovering from common Long Beach addictions, like heroin or prescription painkillers. Starting in inpatient treatment and moving to outpatient recovery, people can learn how to stay active and develop new passions while maintaining sobriety. If you or a loved one are battling addiction, there is hope. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss available treatment options.