THE IMPACT OF THE OPIOID CRISIS ON CALIFORNIA
- April 8, 2019
Once you take a closer look at how much damage opioid painkillers have caused over the past couple of decades, you will begin to see why government officials have dubbed this incident the Opioid Crisis. For nearly 20 years, America has been suffering from one of the worst public health crises since the outbreak of AIDS and hepatitis C during the 1980s and 1990s, but the issue doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, while millions more have become full-scale opioid addicts. Who knows when the chaos will stop? For today, let’s travel back home to look at California and see how our beautiful Golden State is dealing with the Opioid Crisis.
Problems with Prescriptions
Ultimately, the situation in California is a bit of a mixed bag, in terms of fatalities stemming from drug problems. In 2017, our state documented an incidence of 5.3 opioid overdose-related deaths per 100,000 residents, a total of 2,199 deaths statewide, far below the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 citizens. Overall, 1,169 victims died via prescriptions opioids, although California has recorded a twofold increase in synthetic-related deaths, 229 to 536, from 2012 to 2017. During this same two-year period, heroin fatalities also rose from 593 to 715.
Prescribing Rates in California
Despite being one of the largest and most heavily populated states in the country, California actually has a shockingly low rate of opioid prescribing, one of the most minimal on record at this time. In 2017, doctors wrote 39.5 opioid prescriptions per 100 patients, far below the national incidence of 58.7 prescriptions per 100 citizens. Incidentally, prescription opioid-related deaths dropped to 2.8 per 100,000 residents in California from 2014 to 2017.
Rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in California
Despite positive readings for opioid prescribing rates in the state, California has, unfortunately, recorded a fivefold increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) outbreaks. From 2004 to 2014, our state recorded a rise from 1.5 cases per 1,000 births to 8.0 cases per 1,000 births. In essence, that means that one NAS baby is born every 15 minutes in California.
Viral Outbreaks in the Golden State
So how does our state fare in terms of viral outbreaks? According to new data provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the situation is, once again, a bit of mixed bag. Out of the 39,589 new cases of HIV documented in 2016, California reported 4,961 new outbreaks. Meanwhile, out of the 41,200 new cases of hepatitis C reported in 2015, only 60 cases occurred in our state.
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder is easily one of the most terrifying substance use disorders on the planet, mostly because opioid addiction partially stems from a large number of drugs that are legally regulated by the federal government. For decades, our country has suffered beneath the weight of dangerous synthetics and legal painkillers, and millions of Americans have suffered from addiction throughout the 20 years the crisis has been brewing. However, you can make the right decision by taking a stand against your addiction and regaining your health and happiness.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of opioid withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.