Opioid abuse is an epidemic ravaging the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that, as of 2016, an average of 115 people die every day because of an opioid overdose, which could be due to prescription narcotics, heroin, fentanyl, or an unknown mixture of these drugs.1 Even small cities like Montebello, California, are not immune to this epidemic. California has managed to avoid the worst of the opioid crisis until very recently.
In Los Angeles County, treatment admissions for prescription opioid painkiller abuse decreased in 2015 compared to 2014, indicating that fewer people abuse these drugs than in years past. However, there were slightly higher rates of treatment admissions for people working to overcome heroin abuse, suggesting that some people who abused prescription opioids may have moved to heroin, since it is cheaper and often easier to find.2
There were also slightly fewer reports of heroin or opioid painkillers being found in toxicology reports—12.5% in 2015 compared to 16.5% in 2014—so fewer people in the Los Angeles County area are overdosing on these drugs. There were fewer poison control calls involving opioids, but the margin was very slight at 15.7% in 2014 compared to 15.2% of calls in 2015.2
While these rates appear to be declining, it is incredibly important to encourage a loved one who is struggling with opioid addiction to seek treatment. Call our helpline to speak with a recovery support specialist about your options for treatment.
. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioid Overdose. (2017). Understanding the Epidemic.
. National Drug Early Warning System. Los Angeles County Sentinel Community Site (SCS) Drug Use Patterns and Trends, 2016.