Substance abuse involves the use of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol for purposes other than what they are meant to be used for. It can also involve consuming substances in excessive amounts that are fundamentally unhealthy and damaging to your physical and psychological health. Drug and alcohol abuse can have a debilitating effect on almost every area of a person's life, and can lead to a form of drug addiction that is hard to overcome.
Orange County is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in southern California. As of 2020, it has a population of over three million people, making it the third most populous county in California, as well as the sixth most populated county in the entire United States. Its beautiful weather and many tourist attractions make it a popular destination for many people.
However, many people in Orange County suffer from the devastating effects of substance use disorder and mental health issues. These issues are often linked by common factors, so it is important to discuss both together.
With the United States in the vice grip of the current opioid crisis, it is important to see how Orange County residents are faring when it comes to dealing with their drug use, regardless of whether their primary drug is illicit or not. While the average drug abuse rates in California are lower than the national average, new data indicates a need for concern. In this blog, we will discuss substance abuse data for Orange County, California, and see how they compare to the rest of the United States.
Prevalence of Substance Use Disorders in Orange County, CA
Substance use disorders emerge when drug use overtakes important aspects of your life, such as your relationships with friends and family as well as your performance at work. Substance use disorders have become a huge problem within the United States, leading to lower quality of life outcomes for many American citizens. On average, people who have an unhealthy relationship with drugs are likely to have reduced physical and psychological health outcomes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Drug overdose deaths since 2000 have almost reached one million total cases
- Opioids were involved in more than half (74.8%) of all fatal drug overdoses
This data shows the severity of the problem in the United States. However, what is the situation in California? Orange County addiction statistics seem to indicate a worrying trend. In Orange County alone, nearly one in six residents report needing help with mental, emotional, or substance abuse issues. Therefore, the scale of this issue should not be underestimated.
It has been found that Orange County has higher hospitalization rates due to alcohol or substance use compared to 75% of Californian counties. Additionally, the death rate due to drug use in Orange County is 15,5 per 100,000 residents, a value which is considerably higher than most other counties in California.
Alcohol use disorders are also a worrying problem in the county, as almost 16.8% of all adults engage in alcohol-related behaviors such as binge drinking. It should be noted that educational status can affect this problem, with less affluent and educated residents being more at risk of alcohol use disorders. Worryingly, this trend is expected to increase in the coming years and is expected to have a large impact on dangerous and potentially fatal alcohol-related behaviors such as driving accidents.
What Types of Illicit Drugs are Being Used?
When it comes to what types of drugs are being used in the United States, the National Institute for Drug Abuse statistics state that in 2020:
- 18.7% of all adults have used marijuana
- 3.6% of all adults have used opioids
- 3.5% of all adults have used prescription pain medication
- 1.9% of all adults have used prescription stimulants
The most commonly abused drugs in Orange County are marijuana and cocaine. Unlike cocaine, however, marijuana use hasn't been shown to create fatal results. However, it can have destabilizing effects on your psychological well-being. These illicit drugs can have an extremely damaging influence on your overall quality of life. According to a 2012 survey on drug use in Orange County, marijuana has the highest rates of use. An estimated 8% of all adults have used it in the past year. It should be noted that there are some differences in these rates depending on age group and ethnic groups.
Opioids and Prescription Drugs
Of all the dangers surrounding drug abuse in the United States, none is more prevalent than that of prescription medications, especially those that contain opioids. Abusing prescription opioids can have a devastating impact on the life of an individual. Often, they can result in fatal overdoses. It is the fastest-growing drug-related problem in California and the United States as a whole.
Prescription drug abuse, especially in the case of medications containing opioids, can often result in overdose deaths. Most drug-related deaths in orange County are a result of prolonged opioid abuse and overdose.
Age-adjusted death rates
- Opioid overdose deaths: 8,4 per 100,000
- Deaths related to prescription opioids: 14.1 per 100,000
- Deaths related to synthetic opioid abuse: 12.2 per 100,000
- Deaths related to heroin: 2 per 100,000
It should be noted with alarm that these trends are expected to increase over the coming years. As we can see, the highest number of deaths due to overdose in Orange County is due to prescription opioids.
Mental Health Disorders in Orange County
Mental health disorders often go hand in hand with drug abuse problems. Regardless of whether you are abusing alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs your mental health can have a large impact on your substance abuse disorder. Your drug abuse can both instigate mental health issues as well as exacerbate them. It has been found that many people suffering from some form of mental illness are likely to use drugs as a method to deal with it.
There are some worrying trends to look out for in Orange County, and there has been an increase in suicide rates and hospitalization rates due to drug abuse in Orange County in the past 10 years.
Mental Health Statistics in Orange County:
- 52.4% of all adults are in need or receiving behavioral care services
- 20.6% of all adults need help with emotional, mental, or substance abuse problems
- 12.4% of all adults have considered suicide
- 12.7% of all adults are in serious psychological distress
It should be noted that these trends have been rising over the last few years. Considering the link between mental illness and drug abuse, this could indicate a future rise in addiction rates. The stigma surrounding mental health can be one reason why people choose to self-medicate rather than seek proper treatment. There are also common risk factors involved. These can contribute to exacerbating both mental disorders and substance use disorders
Drug Abuse and Addiction Treatment
If you are suffering from a substance use disorder, there are many options for treatment available. Orange County residents who suffer from such problems can often opt for a medical detox in order to have the best chance at a successful recovery. It should be your first step in trying to recover from your addiction.
Detoxification is not always an easy process, but it can be made much easier if it is conducted with proper medical supervision. This can be done at many drug and alcohol rehab centers across the state. So if you find that you have started to consume alcohol or other drugs to such an extent that it is having an impact on your personal life, then we advise that you should immediately seek treatment.
In order to properly treat your substance use disorder, and to avoid the risk of having emergency hospital visits due to overdose, you can opt for a treatment program that minimizes the risk factors involved with drug use, as well as helps you overcome the mental health issues surrounding drug abuse. Most detoxification programs are usually accompanied by behavioral therapy in order to help you overcome your addictive behavior. Drug addiction is a hard thing to overcome. However, treatment facilities such as Cornerstone are here to help you recover from your illicit drug use.
Depending on your individual needs, you can choose between inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient facilities allow you to temporarily live there as you begin your healing journey, whereas outpatient treatment allows you to still live within your home as you begin recovery. These treatments allow you to safely withdraw from these substances. Medical professionals will be able to minimize the impact of your withdrawal symptoms and reduce any cravings you may be experiencing through the use of modern medicinal treatment.
Seeking Help at Cornerstone
Regardless of whether you have fallen prey to alcohol abuse, or have started abusing prescription drugs, there is always a way to find help. At Cornerstone, we pride ourselves on the quality of our care. We provide modern treatment techniques, coupled with a comfortable environment that allow you to properly heal from your substance use disorder. We provide treatment programs such as:
- Medically Supervised Withdrawal
- Inpatient Rehabilitation
- Inpatient Detoxification
- Relapse Prevention through behavioral therapy
Asking for help can be difficult, but you should keep in mind that deciding to seek treatment is your best chance at a full recovery. At Cornerstone, you can rely on our 40 years of experience in helping people change their lives, and providing them with the tools they need to be able to get a grip on their addictive behaviors and have a better future.
At our treatment facility, you can make full use of our detoxification programs. Using modern medical techniques, we can ensure that your withdrawal is as safe as possible, in a comfortable environment where you will be cared for by our compassionate staff. Coupled with a variety of behavioral strategies, such as individual or family therapy, we can set you on the path to a new, happier life.
If you are seeking a better life, do not wait. Get in touch with us at Cornerstone. We are just a phone call away.