Los Angeles County, home to California’s largest city of the same name, ranks among the largest counties in the United States, with an estimated 10 million residents. It is known for many things, including the nation’s entertainment capital for television, movie, and music.
While Los Angeles and neighboring areas regularly share the limelight, the county’s constant fight against substance abuse and addiction isn’t as widely known. While it is certainly not as glamorous as other parts of LA life, a life-threatening addiction is all too real.
Drug rehab services and programs are a must as the Los Angeles County area continues to address addiction head-on and help people return to a fulfilling life without the use of drugs and alcohol.
Los Angeles County Rehab Statistics
Issues with substance abuse are statewide. Roughly eight percent of California’s population (2.7 million people) were found to meet the criteria for a substance use disorder, according to a 2018 report titled Substance Use in California: A Look at Addiction and Treatment. The report also found that:
- Six percent of the Golden State’s population reported alcohol abuse or dependence
- Three percent met the criteria for being dependent on or abusing illegal drugs
While Los Angeles County attracts different people across various groups, including age, data found that substance use rates are higher among one particular group, and that’s people ages 18 to 25. People in this age bracket were found to use addictive substances more frequently than other age groups statewide.
According to the report, “Substance use disorders were most prevalent among young adults 18 to 25, occurring at nearly twice the state average rate.”
Most Abused Substances in Los Angeles County
People in the 18-to-25 age group statewide were found to use marijuana, prescription drugs, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol more than people not in this group. Some of these substances are also popular among some Los Angeles County residents. However, the area saw usage spike for one substance in particular that was not among the top listed in the state report.
As noted by the Los Angeles County, Sentinel Community Site (SCS), Drug Use Patterns and Trends, 2018 report, treatment admissions for methamphetamine increased in 2017, and the illegal stimulant was the second most frequently identified drug that year in Los Angeles County.
Perhaps, meth use went up as a result of California being neighbors with Mexico, which makes it easy for drug traffickers to smuggle illegal drugs over the U.S.-Mexico border. This news article also asserts that methamphetamine was the most common drug linked to overdose deaths in California in 2017.
The SCS report also mentioned that Los Angeles County saw substance use trends involving prescription drugs and other opioids, heroin, crack, cocaine, and alcohol, which was the most cited substance in polydrug combinations. Polydrug use is when two or more drugs are used at the same time.
“Alcohol was the most frequently reported secondary drug (by 27.4% of cocaine/crack primary admissions), marijuana by 25.4%, methamphetamine by 9.1%, heroin by 1.4%, and other opioids by 1.1%,” the report said.
Statewide, alcohol also sends more Californians to emergency departments for the treatment of nonfatal alcohol-related issues.
The opioid overdose crisis has also hit Los Angeles County particularly hard. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health cites data that shows that an average of 464 accidental opioid-related deaths occurred every year between 2011 and 2017.
Los Angeles County’s Drug Rehab History and Rankings
Public health officials and lawmakers in Los Angeles County are well aware that treating substance abuse and addiction is a priority.
The county’s Department of Public Health addressed the opioid addiction crisis in a statement, saying, “DPH has developed a broad, multifaceted, and coordinated opioid prevention strategy in LA County to reduce the toll of the opioid crisis on LA County residents and maximize health and well-being.”
Its initiative aims to stop people from using opioids, reduce the overdose death toll, and make access to treatment programs easier. Part of the strategy is increasing education about and access to naloxone for first responders and family members of people who have overdosed on opioid pain relievers or heroin.
In July 2017, Los Angeles County launched the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) Waiver to expand and enhance its treatment services for substance use disorders.
The waiver connected people with access to withdrawal management, short-term residential treatment, case management, and services for recovery support for adults across groups, including those who were homeless, single, or without children.
According to the county’s public health department, nearly 36,000 county residents received treatment through the expanded DMC-ODS program in the 2017-18 fiscal year.
California also has started the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion Project, which aims to serve 20,000-plus individuals with opioid use disorder, among other goals. MAT can also help treat people with alcohol use disorder.
The project is also focused on offering MAT to populations with limited access, including rural area residents, Native Americans, and Alaskan Native tribal communities.
Quick Treatment Facts
At some point, substance abuse and addiction issues will mean seeking professional help to overcome them. Getting the right help likely will mean entering an addiction treatment program that is designed to help the person regain their sobriety and freedom.
Recovery programs for addiction require time and patience, as addiction is a complex condition. The chronic brain disease requires lifelong treatment in many cases, so it is important that the program addresses all needs of the person, including mental and emotional ones.
As such, medical care and therapies that specifically address substance abuse issues are key, as they can help correct the thinking patterns that support abusing drugs and alcohol.
Finding facilities that use evidence-based treatments and can recommend the proper plan for you are ideal. Patients usually undergo a thorough assessment to ensure the placement addresses their unique needs. If your addiction is beyond the early or mild stages, you may have to complete detox before moving on to your treatment program.