Salinas and the Opioid Epidemic
Although the rates of deaths involving opioids in California have been below the national average for at least ten years, the opioid epidemic is a serious problem throughout the state. In 2016, 2,012 people lost their lives to an opioid overdose in California, where prescription opioids cause over half of opioid-related deaths. The opioid fentanyl, which is even more dangerous than heroin, claimed over 400 lives in California in 2017. In Salinas and Monterey County, seven residents suffered a fatal opioid overdose in 2017, and people between the ages of 75 and 80 years old comprised the majority of opioid-related deaths which occurred in Salinas. That same year, doctors issued 215,649 opioid prescriptions in Salinas and Monterey County. Fortunately, there has been some progress against opioid abuse in Salinas in recent years. While California has experienced an overall increase in opioid overdoses, the number of opioid prescriptions in Monterey County have declined by 15% since 2015 and Monterey County lost 43% fewer residents to opioids in 2017 than during the previous two years.
Methamphetamine in Salinas
Methamphetamine is still the most prevalent drug for addiction in California. Most methamphetamine in Salinas is manufactured in Mexico. Federal and local law enforcement diligently enforce laws against trafficking of methamphetamine, a crime which carries a potential maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. In 2017, police in Salinas arrested five members of a conspiracy to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine throughout the Central Coast.
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Marijuana in Salinas
In Monterey County and in all of California, anyone who is at least 21 years old may legally possess and use marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Monterey County issues commercial cannabis permits to residents who want to manufacture and sell the drug to lawful consumers and there are currently several marijuana dispensaries in Salinas. Although marijuana is legal in California, the federal government continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance. Therefore, using and possessing marijuana anywhere in the United States is a federal crime. Additionally, using marijuana is not risk-free. Marijuana may cause a person to experience various psychological and social problems and develop a dependency on the drug.
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Finding Help in Salinas
The path to overcoming addiction is difficult, but with determination and the right support from family, friends, and recovery specialists, anyone can return to living life without drugs. If you or someone you know in Salinas is struggling with substance abuse, contact a dedicated treatment provider today.