What's Inside L.A's Opioid Epidemic
Los Angeles, California is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, and yet, it has been facing a major health crisis since the 1990s: the opioid epidemic. In recent years, drug overdoses have become increasingly common in Los Angeles County due to powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths in Los Angeles County increased by 17% between 2017 and 2018. During that same period, fentanyl-related deaths rose by 31%. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has also reported that seizures of fentanyl have been steadily increasing in California since 2016.
The Start of the Opioid epidemic In Los Angeles
In the 1990s, the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma came out with the drug OxyContin. This new drug was soon being pushed out all around the country. Most doctors giving out this strong opioid were unaware that it had such strong addictive qualities or just ignored that fact.
Soon patients become reliant on the medication and couldn’t stand the withdrawal symptoms.
This led to medication abuse and patients seeking drugs from the streets.
Most illicit opioids like heroin were now being sought after since they were an inexpensive option for OxyContin. This key development led drug smugglers from Mexico to join the billion-dollar industry. This soon became the hub for drug trafficking in southern California. Leading to a plethora of drugs being abused in the city.
These alarming statistics are devastatingly impacting many communities across Los Angeles County. Not only are people dying at an alarmingly high rate, but those struggling with addiction often don’t have access to necessary treatment services and resources. According to a report from The Los Angeles Times, less than one out of every 10 people who need addiction care get it in L.A., which falls short of national standards and contributes to an overall lack of awareness on this issue.
The city of Los Angeles must take action if we are to address this epidemic effectively. Many organizations, including the DEA and the CDC, recommend implementing educational programs that provide information about the dangers associated with opioids such as fentanyl and how they can be avoided. Additionally, creating more access to treatment services can help individuals struggling with addiction get the help they need without fear or judgment.
Finally, elected leaders should ensure that innovative solutions are being pursued to address this issue head-on - whether through increased funding for existing health services or targeted outreach efforts aimed at vulnerable populations within Los Angeles County - so that we can begin moving toward healing our communities from this devastating crisis.
Education and access to treatment must be prioritized if we are genuinely committed to ending this opioid epidemic in Los Angeles County once and for all. By investing in preventative measures now, we can protect countless lives from becoming part of these tragic statistics - which ultimately will benefit us all in the long run.
If you or someone you know is suffering from the disease of addiction caused by this epidemic, contact LA Valley Recovery today for all the information you will need.