California Drug Rehab

California Drug Rehab
California Drug Rehab

The Reason For California Drug Rehab

California is the heaviest populated state in our nation.  Making it the third largest state, their population is over 32  million people ranging from many different ethnic groups and a growing race population. An estimation on the total  number of individuals that has a drug addiction or a drug and alcohol abuse problem in a one year period in California was over 855,000. Including marijuana, heroin, inhalants, cocaine, and prescription medication.

California had an estimated 155,00 individuals that were between the ages of 12-17 years old with a drug addiction  or drug abuse, 306,00 between the ages of 18-25 years old and 393,000 individuals that are 26 and older.  Many drugs are smuggled into the state of California from Mexico, such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana and meth.  Within the state of California meth and marijuana are produced in large quantities.  Cocaine is a widely available drug throughout the state with Los Angeles being the nations largest distribution and transshipment centers.

The new younger population is having an increase in snorting heroin rather than using needles and syringes.  This will  cause the user to ingest larger amounts of heroin and will cause them to become addicted quicker.  California’s  primary drug of threat is methamphetamine.  High-quality of meth is continued to be produced and distributed by the Mexican organization.

California has had a decrease in meth labs and an increase in the number of labs just south of the border in Mexico.   Ecstasy is considered the most popular “club drug” in the state of California by teens and young adults.  In the San  Diego area law enforcement have targeted rave promoters so it will decrease some of the distribution of ecstasy.   Studies indicate that MDMA have expanded from raves and clubs into malls, schools and residences.

Illicit Drug Problem in California

California is known for the pristine beaches, gentle climates, snowy mountains, designer shopping and some of the best schools in the country. When people think of California they think of sunshine, warm sand and nightlife. What people don’t think about is the growing drug problem within the state.

Although California is the fifteenth lowest state of drug overdose fatalities, it doesn’t change the fact that drugs are prevalent and are increasing growing particularly in prescription medication abuse. According to the Kaiser Foundation, in 2011, California was the leader in prescribing the most prescriptions in the United States. There were 2.9 million prescriptions filled during the year. The increase of written prescriptions is believed to make the abuse of these drugs more accessible to the youth who do not consider the consequences before taking them. California has a higher rate of prescription drug misuse fatalities over heroin and cocaine combined.

Illicit Drug Abuse Fatalities

Illicit drug abuse related fatalities in California are less than the national average. However, drug abuse related deaths have increased by 31% since 1999. In 2007, one in eight weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal drug use while one in three motor vehicle fatalities (or 33%) tested positive to illicit drugs. Below is statistical data on the number of deaths for 2007 through 2008 and 2009 through 2010 for California related to illicit drug use:

2007-2008

  • Illicit drug-related deaths: 4,178
  • Motor vehicle accidents (non-drug related): 4,306
  • Firearm related deaths (non-drug related): 3,268
  • California illicit drug death ratio: 11.4 per 100,000 population
  • National average illicit drug death ratio: 12.7 per 100,000 population

2009-2010

  • Illicit drug related deaths: 4,290
  • Motor vehicle accidents (non-drug related): 3,292
  • Firearm related deaths (non-drug related): 3,094
  • California illicit drug death ratio: 11.6 per 100,000 population
  • National average illicit drug death ration: 12.8 per 100,000 population

Deaths associated with illicit substance abuse can be attributed to the number and the types of drugs that are being used.

The Youth and Illicit Drug Abuse

Alarmingly, trends across the United States have started in the younger population in California. Examples of these past trends include the use of hallucinogenic drugs (psychedelics), phencyclidine (PCP) and smoking cocaine were all first identified in California among the youth. Future trends appear to be an increase in the use of the following;

  • Cathinone
  • Cocaine
  • Codeine combined with glutethimide
  • Fentanyl
  • ephedrine
  • PCP
  • Psilocybin mushrooms
  • Psycho-active phenylisophropylamines
  • Yohimbine

During 2009 through 2010, California ranked as one of the top 10 states in the country for children ages 12 through 17 for illicit drug use, illicit drug use other than marijuana and cocaine use. According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health;

2007-2008

  • California
    • 9% admitted to illicit drug use
    • 3.9% admitted to using illicit drugs other than marijuana
  • National Average
    • 8% admitted to illicit drug use
    • 3.5% admitted to using illicit drugs other than marijuana

2009-2010

  • California
    • 10.43% admitted to illicit drug use
    • 3.8% admitted to using illicit drugs other than marijuana
  • National Average
    • 8.82% admitted to illicit drug use
    • 3.6% admitted to using illicit drugs other than marijuana

A majority of statistical data is gathered from those who enter drug treatment programs. According to reported information in 2011, 27% of admitted California residents were for marijuana while 35% were for stimulants including methamphetamine. Between 1992 and 2011, stimulants including methamphetamine and marijuana were the most common drugs admitted to being used in treatment facilities.

Illicit drug abuse among the youth is patterned. The younger illicit drug abusers begin for experimental purposes, compulsive, circumstantial situational, intensified, and social recreational. The younger illicit drug users show trust in the folklore and appearance that surround illicit drugs such as cocaine, codeine, fentanyl, ephedrine, PCP and psilocybin mushrooms, just to name a few.

The abuse of prescription medications are on a steady rise in California and becoming a growing problem. The use of prescription medications for nonmedical reasons alters brain activity and can lead into dependency and addiction to the medication. Abuse in high dosages can create compulsive use, dangerously high temperatures in the body, irregular heartbeat and paranoia.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2007 Monitoring the Future performed a nationwide study on the prescription drug abuse among the youth. Alarmingly the results showed;

  • Vicodin
    • 2.7% of eighth graders
    • 7.2% of tenth graders
    • 9.6% of twelfth graders
  • OxyContin
    • 1.8% of eighth graders
    • 3.9% of tenth graders
    • 5.2% of twelfth graders

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports there are over 2,500 children between the ages of twelve and seventeen abuse and misuse prescription pain relief medications. Studies show that prescription drug abuse is higher than marijuana in the youth and is the drugs of choice by twelve and thirteen year olds. These trends can be contributed to the ease of obtaining such medications and the misbelief among the youth that using prescriptions for nonmedical reasons are safer choices than the illicit street drugs.

The prescription abuse doesn’t stop with taking prescription medications for nonmedical reasons. The younger abusers are mixing the prescription medications with over the counter cough and cold medications. While single larger doses of either prescription or over the counter medications can cause breathing difficulty, paranoia, hear failure, fatal seizures and death, the combination of these drugs in smaller amounts can lead to respiratory failure and death. In addition, the youth in California are becoming inventive in ways to get high. According to an article in The Week, teens have become creative in their substance abuse methods by deploying the following;

  • Alcohol extracted and distilled into 60% alcohol moonshine from hand sanitizer
  • Household spices are being smoked, ingested and drank in large quantities. For example, nutmeg can cause euphoria and hallucinations.
  • Digital drugs that make crazy sounds are reported to alter metal states similar to narcotics. These are downloadable from the internet.
  • Bath salts contain amphetamine-like chemicals and until recently were available over the counter. These sniffable substances are available for purchase on the internet.
  • Drinking cough medications for the dextromethorphan (DXM), also known as robotripping or dexing. This medication is easily obtainable and is fairly cheap to purchase.
  • Hefty doses of pills such as Coricidin HBP provide larger doses of dextromethorphan (DXM) than cough medications. They are easier to swallow and to obtain. The websites of this medication and similar types indicate how much someone at a particular weight would have to take in order to gain a high. The youth refer to this as Triple C’s. This medication is easily obtainable and fairly cheap to purchase.
  • Saturating tampons in hard alcohol and inserting them into the vagina or rectum creates a longer, more intense alcohol related high. This method is called Vodka tampons and is used by both girls and boys.
  • Smoking potpourri causes hallucinations, paranoia and heart palpitations.
  • Sniffing Freon obtained from air conditioners. The bad side effects include brain damage, frostbite and slurred speech.
  • Snorting the gas of keyboard dusters/cleaners from the aerosol nozzle. These types of items are easily accessible and affordable.
  • Nitrous oxide canisters are widely available and can even be extracted from cans of whipped cream. This is referred to as Whip-Its.

In September 2003, a 13 year old student obtained approximately 80 Coricidin pills and bought them to school. The student thought it would be fun to take them to obtain a drunken feeling. The pills were shared with six friends, each of them taking approximately five pills each. Adults are recommended to take no more than one Coricidin pill every six hours. The results, two students lost consciousness and another overdosed causing all three to be treated at the local hospital.

In November 2003, a 15 year old student and two friends took five Coricidin pills before school. Within hours the 15 year old student could not remember her name. The student was taken via helicopter to a hospital because paramedics could not stabilize her heartbeat.

Prescription drug abuse is a domestic issue because it is obtained through channels such as doctor shopping, pharmacy shopping, purchased on the internet or stolen from hospitals, pharmacies and individuals. Internet distribution normally ships from Tijuana. The most commonly abused prescription medications in Los Angeles and San Diego are Codeine, Lortab, Oxycontin, steroids, Valium, Vicodin and Xanax.

Drug Trafficking

Illicit drugs are reaching the youth and adults through the extensive transportation methods of California. The United States and Mexico border makes California a prime location for international drug trafficking. Even with measures to increase border patrol, traffickers use a variety of methods including complex tunnels that stretch from Mexico and end normally in a structure like a house in the United States.

According to the White House website, illicit drug seizure from the southwestern border of California has steadily increased since 2000 with the exception of marijuana which has decreased dramatically since 2010. The below statistical data show the trends of illicit drug seizure based by year. Amounts are approximate.

  • Cocaine
    • 2000 – 3,100 kilograms
    • 2001 – 4,500 kilograms
    • 2002 – 3,500 kilograms
    • 2003 – 3,200 kilograms
    • 2004 – 3,200 kilograms
    • 2005 – 4,500 kilograms
    • 2006 – 5,900 kilograms
    • 2007 – 5,800 kilograms
    • 2008 – 5,500 kilograms
    • 2009 – 6,800 kilograms
    • 2010 – 7,700 kilograms
    • 2011 – 11,000 kilograms
  • Heroin
    • 2000 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2001 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2002 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2003 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2004 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2005 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2006 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2007 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2008 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2009 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2010 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2011 – less than 1,000 kilograms
  • Marijuana
    • 2000 – 160,000 kilograms
    • 2001 – 220,000 kilograms
    • 2002 – 140,000 kilograms
    • 2003 – 150,000 kilograms
    • 2004 – 140,000 kilograms
    • 2005 – 180,000 kilograms
    • 2006 – 150,000 kilograms
    • 2007 – 170,000 kilograms
    • 2008 – 160,000 kilograms
    • 2009 –180,000 kilograms
    • 2010 – 350,000 kilograms
    • 2011 – 150,000 kilograms
  • Methamphetamine
    • 2000 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2001 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2002 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2003 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2004 – less than 1,000 kilograms
    • 2005 – 1,000 kilograms
    • 2006 – 1,900 kilograms
    • 2007 – 1,000 kilograms
    • 2008 – 1,400 kilograms
    • 2009 – 2,500 kilograms
    • 2010 – 3,900 kilograms
    • 2011 – 5,000 kilograms

Drug trafficking isn’t limited to the southwestern border. Other methods include the numerous airports, airstrips, and interstates such as:

  • Private and commercial vehicles traveling across the Mexican border and transporting from various locations throughout California
  • U.S. Highway 101 allows direct access from Mexico to Canada
  • Interstate 80 allows direct access from San Francisco to New York City
  • Mexican Border Ports of Entry
    • Calexico
    • San Yskdro
    • Otay Mesa
  • Airports
    • San Francisco International Airport
    • Oakland International Airport
    • San Jose International Airport
    • Domestic Airports
    • Domestic Airstrips
    • Private Airports
    • Private Airstrips
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air Mail Center
  • Ports – known for large ship containers from Asia, China, the Philippines and Thailand
    • Port of Oakland
    • Port of San Francisco
    • Port of Long Beach

California has become a prime location for illicit drugs entering the United States. Wherever there is a mode of transportation, illicit drugs will be moved.

Interstate Distribution of Illicit Drugs

Mexican drug trafficking organizations remain the dominant whole distributors of illicit drugs in California. They distribute illicit drugs to various local gangs in order to reduce their risk of being caught and arrested. Local gangs consist of outlaw motorcycle gangs, street gangs and prison gangs. These gangs serve as the primary mid and retail level distribution points. Below is a description of the gangs and what illicit drugs they are known to distribute in California.

  • African American Street Gangs (affiliates of the Bloods and Crips)
    • Crack cocaine at retail level
    • Marijuana at retail level
  • Asian Street Gangs (Wah Ching and Asian Boyz)
    • Ecstasy
    • Marijuana high potency produced in California
  • Caucasian Criminal Groups
    • Marijuana high potency produced in California
  • Hispanic Street Gangs (affiliates of the Surenos and Nortenos gangs)
    • Cocaine
    • Heroin
    • Marijuana
    • Methamphetamine
  • Independent Dealers
    • Marijuana high potency produced in California
    • Primary distribution in small towns and rural areas
  • Internet Purchases
    • Marijuana
    • Methamphetamine
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Messages to purchase illicit drugs are listed on websites with classified advertisements
  • Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (Hells Angels Motorcycle Club)
    • Marijuana at mid and retail level
    • Methamphetamine at mid and retail level
    • Powered cocaine at mid and retail level
  • Prison Gangs (Border Brothers and Kumi Nation)
    • Crack Cocaine
    • Marijuana
    • Methamphetamine

The presence of gangs with illicit drug distribution increases violence jeopardizing the safety of the public and law enforcement officials. Each of the above gangs is known to be extremely violent. They are battling for establishment and control, or maintaining control, of illicit drug trafficking and distribution activities. These gangs are also known to manufacturing PCP which is distributed to night clubs in California.
There is a lot of illicit drug distribution found in urban areas. With the number of night clubs and the infamous night life, distribution is made easy particularly in areas such as Orange County and on the Sunset Strip. Common drugs distributed in this area are Ectasy, Ketamine, PCP and Rohypnol.

Illicit Drug Abuse Key Issues For California

There are several areas of growing concern for California officials;

  • Methamphetamine production, abuse and trafficking remains the greatest illicit drug threat. Although San Diego is no longer considered the capital of methamphetamine, it continues to be the center of activity for the illicit drug. Methamphetamine that is consumed within the United States is produced and transported from Mexico. Distribution and abuse of cocaine and heroin have become secondary illicit drug threats to methamphetamine in California even though they still pose significant threats.
  • Parents and caregivers who are addicted to drugs put children at risk for neglect and abuse. Children become exposed to second hand illicit drug smoke, chemicals, used needles, illicit drug manufacturing such as methamphetamine, along with the illicit drugs themselves. In San Diego District, more than 200 children were removed from homes where methamphetamine laboratories were discovered in 1998.
  • Marijuana outdoor cultivation locations pose a threat to the safety of the public and law enforcement from the violence associated with protecting these sites. There is an increase in the production of high potency marijuana by independent dealers and various drug trafficking and criminal groups. This is creating an increase in exploiting California state medical marijuana laws.
  • Mexican drug trafficking operations are dominant in Redwood City, East Palo and San Jose with well-organized and connected multigenerational family networks. These drug traffickers are responsible for smuggling the majority of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin supplies into California. In addition, they operate and fund domestic cannabis (marijuana) cultivation and the production of methamphetamine.

Although California is prime location for drug trafficking with the southwestern border to Mexico, number of international airports, extensive roadways leading from California to New York and Mexico to Canada, deep water ports of entry, and other various methods, the state currently has the 15th lowest drug overdose fatality rate in the country. Falling in behind the national averages on the percentages of youth admitting to illicit substance abuse, California remains the lone state where various new substance abuse methods can be traced back the origins, typically in the younger crowds. The abuse of prescription medications is on the rise while trends show that substances such as cocaine and heroin, although still prevalent in the state, are declining in demand.

California Drug Rehab Is Dedicated To Helping

California drug rehab facilities are dedicated to helping patients become and stay drug or alcohol free and to lead healthier lives.