Drug Rehab Orange County looks at Overdoses in California

Overdoses in California

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The drug crisis in America has impacted millions and continues to burden individuals, families, communities, and so much more. The effects of substance misuse have extremely detrimental implications including, significant health problems at the micro-level. Additionally, this drug epidemic impacts society on the macro level. It does so by creating increased crime levels, teenage pregnancies, instances of domestic violence, child abuse, motor vehicle accidents, and so much more. The most tragic consequence of all is, of course, drug overdoses and deaths. Through this article, we will look at the drug overdose epidemic in California and, in particular, look further into how drug rehab in Orange County California, can help.

Drug Overdoses as Cause of Death

Presently, drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in the US and has more than tripled between 1999-2017. [2] Deaths from opiates, cocaine, and methamphetamines shot up by 35 percent in the United States between the year ending in May 2015 and that ending in May 2017. [1]

Prescription opioids sold in the U.S. more than doubled from 75 million grams in 2001 to 159 million grams in 2017. [2] As more opioids become available across the nation, the rates of opioid use disorders and opioid deaths continue to increase. In 2018, the CDC reported 68,000 deaths from drug overdoses, with 70% of those involving synthetic opioids. [3] At this point, the total cost of this drug epidemic exceeds $500 billion. [4]

Drug Overdoses in California

California had the 4th highest number of drug overdose deaths in the nation, 4,868 in 2017; the age-adjusted state mortality rate of 12.3 deaths per 100,000 people. [4] The number of heroin-related emergency department visits in California more than tripled between 2006 and 2017. In 2017, there were over 20 million opioid prescriptions dispensed to California residents and over 4,000 visits to California emergency departments (EDs) for an opioid overdose (not including heroin). [5] Non-heroin opioid-related emergency department visits nearly doubled during the same time. 

The Opioid Crisis, listed as the worst drug epidemic in American history, has been labeled as a public health emergency. While rates of heroin, cocaine, and natural opioid overdose deaths have started to level out, overdose death rates involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, have continued to increase. [6] In the 12-month period ending December 2018, synthetic opioid overdose deaths increased to over 31,000 compared with the approximately 29,000 reported in the 12-month period ending December 2017. [7]

Drug Overdose: Orange County, California

In Orange County, California, drug and alcohol overdoses account for close to 6,000 hospitalizations and 700 deaths annually. This drug overdose death rate has increased by approximately 82% since the year 2000. [8] 78% of those overdoses were considered accidental, with 51% involving prescription drugs and 66.8% of those being opioids. This crisis does have financial implications in Orange County as well. With each hospital stay averaging 4.3 days, there have been over $430 million in charges as a direct result of a drug overdose. [9]

Overdoses in California – The Statistics

Reports by the Orange County Health Care Agency noted that drug use trends are tightly linked to gender and ethnic background. In Orange County:

  • Females are 1.6x more likely to overdose from prescription drugs than males;
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 54 have the highest rates of drug overdose death compared with younger adults (ages 15-24) and older adults (ages 55 and older);
  • The majority of opioid-related ED visits was among Non-Hispanic White (78%), followed by Hispanics (15%), Other / Unknown (4%), Asian / Pacific Islanders (2%), and African-Americans (1%);
  • Non-Hispanic Whites also had the highest number and rate of ED visits for opioid-related issues at 87.2 (per 100,000);
  • Adults between the ages of 18 to 34 accounted for more than half of those who were treated for opioid abuse (53%);
  • The prescription drug overdoses increased with age group starting with the 35 to 44 year age group (46.1%) to 65 years and older (87.4%);
  • Individuals ages 45-54 are reported to have the highest number of hospitalizations from drug use. [10]

Drug Rehab in Orange County, California

About 8% of Californians, or 2.7 million people, met the criteria for substance use disorder in the past year. Still, only 10% of people with a substance use disorder received any type of treatment. [11] Despite treatment opportunities available, many rural counties are underserved, and the lack of treatment resources contributes to the crisis. For this reason, Californians must utilize some of the treatment resources available to them, including:

  • The California Department of Public Health
  • The SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
  • The California Opioid Safety Network

The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) reported that, in the majority of cases, treatment in outpatient or long-term residential programs is the most beneficial and has the greatest positive effect on a patient’s quality of life. For example, the OCHCA reported the following about those who receive drug treatment:

  • 53% of patients stopped using their primary drugs after treatment;
  • 65% fewer arrests before discharge from the treatment facility;
  • 74% fewer jail sentences after treatment. [12]

Addiction Treatment Benefits

Although this problem is being prioritized at the state and federal level, local drug rehabilitation centers and programs are central to addressing addiction on the individual level. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that programs that offer more extensive treatment will result in a higher success rate. According to the institute, effective substance treatment must:

  • Help a patient stop using the substance altogether;
  • Help a patient resist cravings and maintain an alcohol/drug-free life;
  • Offer a patient the know-how to reintegrate into society. [12]

Get Help for Drug Addiction From a Top-Rated Drug Rehab in Orange County California

Ocean Hills Recovery in Orange County is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center aimed at addressing all areas of effective treatment and so much more. At Ocean Hills, specialists aim to provide each individual with the tools and resources to acquire long-lasting rehabilitation. Programs offered at Ocean Hills include:

  • Detox Services;
  • Drug Treatment Programs;
  • Alcohol Treatment Programs;
  • Inpatient/Resident Treatment;
  • 12-Step Recovery;
  • Sober Living;
  • Interventions;

At Oceans Hills Recovery, your freedom from addiction begins here. Call our California Rehab to enroll in one of our tailored programs to help you in the process of overcoming your addiction.


[1] https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/maps/rxrate-maps.html
[2] http://ocpw.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=0f26ee42642342c1822c08ba8793d9b6
[3] https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/states/california/ca.htm
[4] https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/Drugdeaths/state/CA
[5] https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
[6] http://acphd.org/media/444223/opioid-brief.pdf
[7] https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/california-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms
[8] https://windwardway.com/orange-county-addiction-statistics/
[9] https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF02/20171212/106716/HHRG-115-IF02-20171212-SD005.pdf
[10] http://www.ochealthiertogether.org/content/sites/ochca/Local_Reports/Substance_Use_in_California_2018-10.pdf
[11] https://admin.publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc/MDU/DE/OpioidBriefFactSheet.pdf
[12] https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/california-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms

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