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Orange County Opioid Crisis and Addiction Statistics

orange county opioid crisis

Since 2011, the United States has been trapped in the midst of a raging opioid epidemic. Countless individuals have lost their lives to opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and heroin over the past decade. The Orange County Opioid Crisis is no different. Today, not much has changed in terms of opioid abuse itself, as more people than ever before are hooked on prescription and illicit opioids. 

So, how did millions of people across the country find themselves addicted to opioids? In 2000’s, major pharmaceutical companies who developed OxyContin, Vicodin, and other name brand opioids wrongfully marketed these medications to medical professionals on purpose in an effort to make money. Instead of telling doctors, nurses practitioners, etc. that these medications are highly addictive and potentially deadly, they assured medical consumers that these medications could be prescribed freely without posing any harm to patients. Unfortunately, by the time Big Pharma’s scheme was uncovered, it was already too late. Now, both prescription and illicit opioid abuse continues to rise as does illicit opioid use, as those who can no longer afford their prescription drug habit have turned to the use of heroin.

Like most places in the United States, Orange County has not been immune to opioid addiction.

Orange County Opioid Crisis

Orange County is often portrayed as being a beautiful, coastal part of the country with gorgeous estates and several amenities. Orange County is all of these things, but it is also a place where opioid abuse and addiction runs rampant. It can be easy to think that a disease such as this affects an affluent area of the United States such as Orange County, but addiction does not discriminate. 

In Orange County, one of the most pressing issues related to the current opioid crisis is the dramatic increase in opioid-related emergency department visits. Since 2005, these visits have increased by 141%. According to the most recent data made available by the Orange County Health Care Agency, more than 50% of people who visited the emergency department with issues related to opioids were hospitalized. Of those who visited the emergency department, the majority fell between the ages of 25-34. The Orange County Health Care Agency also reports the following statistics regarding opioid overdose in Orange County:

  • 81% of overdoses in the area involve caucasian individuals 
  • Residents of Orange County between 45-54 experience the highest fatal overdose rates 
  • Almost half of all opioid overdose deaths occurred in individuals between the ages 45-64
  • The highest emergency department rates involving opioids occurred in the following areas within Orange County:
    • Dana Point
    • San Clemente
    • Costa Mesa
    • Laguna Woods
    • Laguna Beach
  • In 2015 (the most recent year data is available for), hydrocodone was responsible for 27% of all opioid overdose deaths in the area, followed by the below listed opioids:
    • Morphine (25%)
    • Heroin (20%)
    • Oxycodone (19%)
    • Codeine (16%)
  • The majority of all opioid overdose deaths in Orange County are ruled accidental

This data supports the fact that prescription opioids are the most widely abused in the area rather than heroin (such as in other parts of the county). Orange County is a highly sought-after location, making it one of the most expensive areas of California. The people who live there tend to have money to spare, which is one of the reasons why opioids are mostly abused in pill form. Prescription opioids are also written out at high rates as they are in many other areas of the United States. The top prescription opioids written out in Orange County include the following:

  • Hydrocodone (62%)
  • Oxycodone (16%)
  • Morphine (7%)
  • Methadone (2%)
  • Hydromorphone (2%)

But while opioids get the spotlight more than any other addictive substance in the area, that doesn’t mean that they are the only type of substance being abused in Orange County.

Orange County Addiction Statistics

The people of Orange County, like the people of many other counties in the country, struggle with other types of substance use disorders outside of opioid use disorders. Even though opioids are the cause of the most overdose deaths, the abuse of several other substances are also causing fatal overdoses. They include, respectively, the following:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antidepressants
  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Antihistamines
  • Cocaine
  • Barbiturates

Men in Orange County are more likely to overdose on illicit drugs (e.g. heroin, cocaine, meth) than women, however women are more likely to overdose on prescription drugs (e.g. hydrocodone, Adderall, Xanax). In the same breath, women are 1.7 times more likely to intentionally overdose than men in Orange County. Alcohol remains one of the most abused mind-altering substances in the area, as more than 80% of residents in Orange County have reported using alcohol at least once in their life. 

Opioid Addiction Treatment in Orange County, CA 

If you are one of the several people in the area who are struggling with substance abuse, you can get the help you need to stop using for good. California is one of the leading states in addiction treatment, with countless treatment centers available that provide evidence-based, comprehensive care. Depending on what type of substance you are abusing and how serious your substance use disorder is, you can benefit from one or more of the following treatment services and programs:

  • Detoxification
  • Residential treatment
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP)
  • Outpatient treatment 

Other resources, including local 12-Step meetings and individualized therapy sessions are also available as a supplement to more intensive care. Through these services, you can identify and address the underlying causes of your substance use disorder, develop relapse prevention skills, establish healthy coping strategies, and build a supportive network of individuals that will help you as you strive to maintain sobriety. The most important thing you can do if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol is to reach out for help without hesitation.

Get Help Today at Asana Recovery

At Asana Recovery, we understand the many challenges substance use disorders cause. We know that living with active addiction is extremely painful, distressing, and life-changing. Thankfully, we are able to provide you or your loved one with the help needed to overcome this disease and learn how to manage it in a healthy way.

Do not wait any longer to ask for the help you need. We are here for you. Call us right now.