Addiction in San Bernardino
San Bernardino seems like a relatively small population compared to other California cities, like Los Angeles and San Diego, but actually has a huge number of people when compared to the other cities in its county. Unfortunately, large populations like that tend to see the brunt of a drug crisis when it starts forming. While the county itself has been comparatively lucky compared to other cities’ death-rates, there are still a vast number of prescription opioids dispersed across the county, and any one of them can be a ticking time-bomb.
Despite the numbers looking better than most of California, that has not stopped county officials from stepping up to take precautionary measures against more people becoming addicted to opioids. However, the local government also needs to recognize the how large their methamphetamine issue is.
The Fight Against Prescription Opioids in San Bernardino
In 2017, San Bernardino County suffered 2.7 deaths from opioids for every 100,000 people. This number well below the national and state averages, and one of the lowest in the country. That totals out to only 57 deaths across an area of over two-million people. However, that number is almost double the 36 deaths that happened in 2016. So, while many area have seen improvement from 2016 to 2017, it looks like San Bernardino County may be declining.
Despite its low death-rate, however, the local government has put into place an organization to better oversee the growing opioid crisis. There are four different narcotic treatment programs that address opioid addiction across San Bernardino County. One of them, the Inland Empire Safe Opioid Prescribing Medical Task Force, is focused on addressing the addiction concerns from prescribers. Guidelines like limiting the number of prescribing physicians one can have and not prescribing drugs that have high potential for abuse, like OxyContin, fentanyl, and other long-acting opioids. While some hospitals have already signed up, they are trying to push it out to more across the county and state.
Despite these new procedures, there is still a huge number of opioids being prescribed across San Bernardino. There were 1,408,704 opioids prescribed in 2017. That comes out to 660 prescriptions for every 1,000 people.
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Methamphetamine Addiction in San Bernardino
While the opioid issue Is growing in San Bernardino County, there has been an issue with methamphetamines for the past decade. Looking at the admissions to county funded treatment services, there have been over 2,000 admissions a year since 2009 and almost hit 3,000 in 2016. 2017 was the first year that there were more admissions into treatment facilities for people suffering from an opioid addiction than meth addiction. However, when looked at collectively, more people in San Bernardino County are entering rehab year after year.
Across San Bernardino County, there are roughly 660 prescriptions for opioid per 1,000 people.
2014 saw the height of people entering rehab for meth addictions, at 2,936 admissions.
By 2016, admissions into treatment facilities for opioid addiction had jumped to 2,753. Not only does this number eclipse treatment for people suffering from meth addictions, but that number also double over the course of 4 years.
Treatment in San Bernardino
San Bernardino is a large area with a large population. That being said, that isn’t always cohesive to recovering. Sometimes, the person struggling needs to get away from where their addiction was born and go somewhere where they aren’t surrounded by familiar faces.