The city of Gardena, California, is just southwest of Los Angeles and home to roughly 60,000 residents.1 It is one of the smaller cities in Los Angeles County and essentially a suburb of Los Angeles metro. Although small in population, Gardena struggles with many of the same substance abuse problems as larger cities, including opioid abuse and addiction.
Our nation is currently facing an opioid abuse and overdose crisis, fueled in part by years of overprescribing and under-monitoring of opioid painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone. In 2012, one-quarter of the doctors in Los Angeles County wrote 91% of all the opioid prescriptions that were dispensed.2 Between 1997 and 2007, there was a 600% increase in the number of opioids prescribed and an almost 300% increase in related opioid overdose deaths.3
Many people who receive prescriptions for opioid painkillers do not need all the pills they receive, so these drugs stay in medicine cabinets for a long time. This means that people who struggle with opioid addiction can go into a loved one’s home and likely find a narcotic to abuse. One way to reduce this risk is by participating in prescription take-back programs, where unused prescriptions can be turned in at drop boxes. 3
If you know someone who is struggling with opioid abuse, you can help them get the evidence-based treatment they need. Call our helpline to learn more about treatment for opioid addiction or any other substance abuse problem.
. Data.io: Gardena, CA.
. Safe Med LA. Los Angeles County Prescription Drug Abuse Coalition.
. County of Los Angeles Public Health. (2013). Prescription Drug Abuse in Los Angeles County: Background and Recommendations for Action.