Being a California-based treatment center, we try to be very aware of the addiction issues happening in our region. And in our direct vicinity of Orange County, California, drug and alcohol dependencies are hitting an all-time high. So much so, that several local news outlets are now reporting on the issue and urging their readers to get help, if needed.
The Voice of OC is just one of the prominent publications to cover the Orange County addiction trend. Their lengthy expose touched on the current challenges facing OC residents and the substances that many are turning to.
As with everywhere, COVID-19 has been called out as a significant contributor to the spike in Orange County addictions. The OC has seen dozens of business closures throughout the pandemic, which has led to countless job losses. It is not surprising to think that unemployed, depressed people quarantined at home may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. And per Voice of OC, that may be exactly what’s happening over there.
One of the local Orange County hospitals shared some alarming stats with the outlet, which were published in the article. Apparently since the start of coronavirus quarantining, their emergency rooms have seen a sharp increase in drug overdoses and suicide attempts; all tied back to mental health and dependencies.
Citing additional data from the California Health Interview Survey, the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency, the Voice of OC published several revealing charts that outline dangerous trends related to binge drinking, opioid overdoses and overall drug use.
Judging from the above information, it is clear that Orange County is grappling with some serious addiction issues. Binge drinking has hit the teens and young 20-somethings particularly hard. There have also been steadily increasing numbers related to opioid overdoses. And cocaine appears to be a narcotic that is quickly growing in popularity. Keep in mind, these stats don’t even reflect 2020. Following the stressors of the pandemic and home quarantining, we expect even higher upticks in all of these categories.
Zeroing in on opioids, the article shared some deeper insights from Orange County Health Care Agency senior director Annette Mugrditchian. She believes that the region’s more affluent communities are most at risk for this type of dependency.
“One trend we have seen in the ‘wealthier’ areas of OC is an increase in prescription opioid abuse,” Mugrditchian explained. “Thankfully, a good portion are turning to recovery facilities, with admittances in our region doubling since 2015.”
If you ask us, this is yet another example that even the more “privileged’ regions of Southern California are just as affected when it comes to addiction challenges.