California is famous for many things, but one of those, unfortunately, is the state’s entrenched and longstanding drug culture. The San Francisco Bay area had its explosion of LSD experimentation during the hippie era, and the entire state has long been known for its weed problem. Medical marijuana is now legal throughout the state, and getting a prescription is ridiculously easy for people that really just want to get high.

Hollywood’s movie industry also glamorizes drug use throughout modern TV shows such as Weeds and Breaking Bad and movies like Pineapple Express. While they also occasionally show the downsides of drug use, these movies and shows tend to give impressionable youth the idea that drug use isn’t really a big deal. Rather, they can give the picture that drugs help you to live an adventurous and sometimes wealthy life. This may have something to do with so many Californians getting hooked on drugs.

Here are several other facts about the state of drug addiction and drug rehab in California.

California Drug Facts and Statistics

The following are general use and addiction statistics for the state of California:

  • 10.43 percent of Californians have used drugs in the past month. This is higher than the national average of 8.82 percent.
  • While the average of people using drugs is higher, Californians actually have a lower rate of drug-induced deaths than the national average. This may be due to the fact that marijuana is one of the most popular drugs in California, and there are no reported cases of drug overdoses on marijuana.
  • Due to its shared border with Mexico, border control agents seize thousands of kilograms of drugs every year. In 2011, agents seized approximately 5000 kilos of meth, approximately 11,000 kilos of cocaine, and over 150,000 kilos of marijuana. You can easily tell which of the drugs is most easily accessible in the state simply by these seizure rates.

According to an article release on October 21st, 2013 from California Healthline there are nearly 250,000 people in Los Angeles County alone who need substance abuse services, however because of the current laws, many of them are ineligible for treatment. Because of the growing costs of the consequences of addiction in the state, California laws are now changing that. In fact, the state has a 5-year plan under the affordable care act to offer more sites and services to those in need of California drug treatment.

Drug Use in California

Over the years California has been known for emerging and continuing stories of drug addiction and abuse with famous celebrities, athletes and other big names. However, the state suffers it’s own series of addiction issues with the general population as well with 2700 overdose deaths reported in 2010, according to an article released by CBS Local. Like many other places in the country (but to a lesser degree) opiate drug overdoses have been the cause of many of these overdose deaths. This has promoted a new law to be passed allowing a drug overdose combatant called Naloxone to be used across the state. Naloxone is used to expand breathing as a person who overdoses usually goes into respiratory depression.

The following are other drug use statistics in the state of California:

  • Marijuana is responsible for almost 30 percent of all drug treatment admissions in the state.
  • The highest percentage of drug treatment admissions is for meth and other stimulants at approximately 35 percent of admissions. So, while marijuana is a more popular drug, not as many users are actually getting drug treatment for it.
  • After a decade and a half on the decline, heroin usage rates are up, and so are drug treatment admission rates at just over 20 percent.
  • Prescription pill addition and other opioids haven’t been felt here as much as in other states, with the admission rate for these drugs is under 10 percent. These are still powerful drugs, however, and the rate is climbing.

Information & Resources for California Drug Treatment – California Drug Control Update:

California Healthline – L.A. County Officials Predict Substance Misuse Care Will Expand Under ACA –

CBS Sacramento – Law Will Expand Use of Drug to Combat Overdoses:

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