For some, Los Angeles County is the city of dreams with streets paved of gold. From Calabasas to Studio City, the perfect weather and lifestyle is a winning combination. The valley attracts those from all over the world to get a taste of what it has to offer. Although it glimmers from afar, the area holds a secret that most may not realize. Despite its greatness, Los Angeles County has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, leading many to seek help and opioid detox.
Over the past several years, an estimated 76 billion opioid pills were spread out across the United States, which has led to an epidemic of abuse and addiction. In California, the most prescriptions per capita overwhelmed the northernmost counties. Although Los Angeles County has been spared from the worst of the opioid crisis, it still significantly affects the area. Between 2006 and 2012, doctors prescribed 21.9 opioid pills per person.
Although addiction rates in Los Angeles County are low relative to the population’s size, more people overdose on opioids in the area than elsewhere in the state. In 2017, an estimated 447 people died of opioid overdoses in L.A. County, a death rate of 4.05 out of 100. Opioid prescriptions have declined dramatically due to the attention of opioid addiction and death, but deaths continue to rise because of heroin and fentanyl.
Opioid detox services in Los Angeles are here to address addiction head-on and help those wishing to live a fulfilling life free of opioids.
California had the fourth-highest number of drug overdose deaths in the United States at a rate of 12.3 deaths per 100,000 people. According to the LA County Department of Public Health, between 2011 and 2017, Los Angeles County averaged 464 accidental opioid-related deaths per year, and individuals died 30 years prematurely. Emergency room visits and hospitalizations soared from 31 to 51 percent between 2006 and 2017 due to opioids.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed the prevalence rate of misusing and abusing prescription opioids in Los Angeles county in the past year stood at 4.7 percent, which is higher than the national average at 4.3 percent.
The Department of Public Health has developed a multifaceted, broad, and coordinated opioid prevention strategy in the region to reduce the damage caused by the opioid crisis in Los Angeles County. It’s geared toward maximizing the health and well-being of the residents. The primary goal is to avoid opioid abuse, reduce overdose deaths, and provide easy access to opioid detox programs.
Public health officials have acknowledged the concerns of residents and are well aware of the issue. They’ve deemed treating addiction as a top priority. As was mentioned above, the Department of Public Health has created a multifaceted approach to tackle opioids in Los Angeles County and reduce the toll of those affected directly or indirectly.
The initiative’s primary goal is to stop individuals from using opioids and make access to treatment simpler. Another part of their strategy is to educate those about naloxone for anyone who’s overdosed on opioids. The medication works to reverse the effects of heroin or opioid pain relievers and is a proven method to save lives.
As of July 2017, the county launched the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) Waiver that expands and enhances treatment services for those struggling with substance use disorders. The waiver helped connect those to withdrawal management, case management, short-term residential treatment, and services aimed at recovery for all adults, whether they were single, homeless, or didn’t have children.
An estimated 36,000 residents have received treatment through this expanded program in 2017-2018, proving its success. California also implemented the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion Program to serve 20,000 or more individuals dealing with opioid use disorders. MAT has been proven successful in helping those conquer their addictions.
Those in the 18-25 age group were found to abuse prescription opioids, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol more than others in this age range. Most of these substances are widespread among Los Angeles County residents, but the area also witnessed a spike in methamphetamine abuse.
Due to the state’s close proximity with Mexico, it makes it a haven for drug cartels to push illicit substances. Access to heroin, prescription opioids, and fentanyl is simple and cheaper than in other places. Fentanyl is a drug that has exploded in popularity in the past few years, replacing heroin because of its potency and lower cost. Those who purchase pain medication on the streets have found that their pills are laced with the dangerous drug, which can cause an overdose fast.
John Hopkins Medicine defines opioid use disorder as a medical condition where a person cannot abstain from using opioids. Their behaviors around the drug interfere with their daily lives. Physical dependence can occur when someone has developed an opioid use disorder, and it is characterized by withdrawal symptoms. Others might use the drug and not develop physical dependence. However, those who do will find it hard to stop using the drug, which could interfere with finances and relationships.
Opioid use disorder must be diagnosed by a professional, and those struggling with opioid addiction may not display all the signs immediately. Over time, however, the warnings will become more prevalent and indicate they need help.
The most common signs of opioid addiction include:
- Weight loss
- Uncontrollable cravings
- Inability to control opioid intake
- Decreased libido
- Lack of hygiene
- Isolation from friends and family
- Changes in exercise habits
- Frequent flu-like symptoms
- Financial difficulties
Abstaining from opioids alone is challenging. Opioid detox is a rigorous process filled with ups and downs and should never be done outside medical professionals’ realm. Getting the right help means entering an addiction treatment program specializing in opioids and will help you overcome your addiction and gain freedom back.
Recovery programs for opioid addiction require patience. Addiction is a complex disease that requires lifelong treatment. Any program you decide to enter must address all of your needs, including emotional and mental problems, to be effective.
Medical care and therapies that address opioid issues are vital, and they will help correct your thinking patterns that support using the drug. Evidence-based treatments will provide you with plans founded on results, and you’ll go through an assessment to determine where you’ll be placed for your unique needs.
You’re only a phone call from changing your life and treating your opioid addiction. If you’re in Los Angeles County and looking for opioid detox, we can help.