The small city of El Cajon, California, is located close to San Diego, and much like the residents of San Diego, individuals living in El Cajon are plagued by drug and alcohol abuse. Opioid abuse is a particular concern in San Diego County, with opioid-related emergency room visits tripling between 2006 and 2014 for individuals between the ages of 20 and 39 years old.1
The opioid abuse epidemic in the United States is partially fueled by narcotics brought up through Mexico. For decades, heroin was the main narcotic released onto the U.S. black market, but now, clandestine labs are also creating unregulated versions of fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that is between 50 and 100 times more potent than morphine.2
Fentanyl is increasingly responsible for the spike in opioid overdose deaths in the last several years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fentanyl has been added to heroin or sold in place of heroin, which means that people who struggle with heroin addiction don’t know what they’re taking. Even small amounts of fentanyl can be toxic and may lead to overdose and death. The CDC reports that the current opioid overdose death rate is 115 people per day.3
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to opioids or other substances, help is available. There are many drug rehab programs that can help those struggling with opioid addiction to get clean and sober. Call our helpline to speak to a recovery support specialist about local options as well as centers outside of your area, should you choose to travel.
1. KBPS. (2016.) How Opioid Addiction Caught San Diego Communities Unaware.
2. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Fentanyl FAQs.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioid Overdose: Understanding the Epidemic.