In 2019 alone, nearly 71,000 people lost their lives to drug addiction while more than 840,000 have died since 1999.
When it comes to our understanding of addiction, here’s what we know for sure: Addiction is a complex and almost enigmatic disease with profound destructive power. At West Valley Detox & Residential Treatment, we aim to inspire more people to become advocates for recovery by providing access to addiction education as well as related guides and resources.
As we continue to grow our library of guides and educational resources, we hope you’ll gain a better understanding of addiction, including but not limited to risk factors, signs, dangers, treatment methods, and relapse prevention strategies.
“We aim to inspire advocates for recovery and provide access to addiction education.”
For decades, families have struggled with losing loved ones because of drug-related arrests, mental health crises, and overdose deaths. Sadly, drug abuse and addiction have been at epidemic levels in Los Angeles for a long time.
When it comes to finding a workable and appropriate response to the problem, the rest of the country frequently looks to Los Angeles County (LAC). In southern California, many families have found the treatment necessary to heal from the dangerous cycle of addiction.
At West Valley Detox, our treatment facilities located in Southern California provide rehab resources to help people and their loved ones overcome challenges with addiction.
Addiction in Los Angeles, California
Did you know that:
- About 740,000 Los Angeles County residents are struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD)
- There have been an average of 500 accidental opioid-related deaths in recent years with 830 in 2019 and 1,506 in 2020.
- Drug overdose caused people to die 30 years prematurely on average in LA County.
The rates of substance abuse tend to be close to the national average in Los Angeles County. The most recent substance abuse reports are from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). However, NSDUH changed its method of diagnostic standards in 2020. This resulted in the estimated prevalence of certain disorders nearly doubling. Using the new method, it can be deduced from national estimates what the adjusted rates are currently.
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD): 10.79%From 2018 to 2020, in the United States, California, and LAC, over half of all adults aged 18 or older reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days. In 2019, 15% of underage drinkers in the US reported initiation of alcohol use before age 13. The number of deaths with an alcohol-related condition reported as the underlying cause of death increased by 34% from 1,114 in 2010 to 1,495 in 2020 in LAC. Forty-three percent of all motor vehicle deaths in LAC involved either alcohol or drugs. Alcohol alone accounted for 20.3 %, 11.7% involved drugs alone, and 10.8% involved both.
Pain Reliever Use Disorder: 1.11%Abuse of prescription pain relievers in the past year was most common among people aged 18 to 25 years old. In addition, LAC had higher rates of pain reliever abuse among youth and young adults, compared to the California state average. Prescription pain relievers include prescription forms of fentanyl but not illegally manufactured forms from illicit labs.
Illicit Drug Use Disorder: 6.62%Heroin was the most frequently reported drug problem among people admitted to publicly funded treatment programs in LAC from 2011 to 2018. Although the percentage of admissions decreased in 2018 and continued to decrease for the following years, heroin is still the second most reported drug problem, passing alcohol and marijuana.
Any Substance Use Disorder (SUD): 14.99%Although SUDs all fall within half a percentage point of the national average, Los Angeles County substance abuse rates are vastly higher for illicit drug use disorder. The national rate is 4.4%.
OverdoseResearch from the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health reported that:
- Over 2,000 people in Los Angeles County died from an accidental overdose
- The number of overdose deaths between 2019 and 2020 increased by 52.4%
- Fentanyl and methamphetamine were the most frequently detected drugs involved in overdoses
Addiction Facts for Orange County, California
Although Orange County (OC) has lower alcohol and drug death rates compared to the nation and the state of California, there are striking differences and risk factors for some of the residents of OC. One such fact is that males were almost twice as likely than females to be hospitalized for or die from a drug/alcohol-related occurrence. Also, cities along the southern and coastal regions of OC tended to have higher rates of drug/alcohol-related hospitalizations and deaths than other cities. Other important findings include:
- In 2020, there were over 13,000 emergency department (ED) visits, 6,600 hospitalizations, and over 1,000 deaths among residents of OC from overdoses or poisonings.
- Males had the highest rates of death, as well as ED visits and hospitalizations compared to females.
- The coastal ZIP Codes had the highest rates of death, ED visits, and hospitalizations for the period 2018 to 2020.
- The notable rise in drug and alcohol-related deaths during the first pandemic year of 2020 was seen at the national, state, and county levels. Between 2019 and 2020, there was a 32% increase in deaths in California compared to a 20% increase in the U.S. in general. However, Orange County’s increase for that time period was 34%. But despite the increase, OC always had a lower mortality rate than both the U.S. and California.
About Substance Use Disorders (SUDs)
The repeated use of alcohol or other drugs can lead to SUDs for some people. This can cause health problems, disability, and failure to meet home, work, or school responsibilities. Long-term use of substances can cause physical changes in the brain that may increase the tendency for compulsive and destructive behavior and make recovery more difficult.
Why is Treatment for Substance Abuse Important?
Substance use disorders don’t just affect the person with the condition, it has an impact on their families, friends, and their community. This is why it’s so vital to know that there are resources for addiction recovery and they work. The same as many other ongoing health conditions, SUDs can be prevented, treated, and managed.
Types of Addiction Treatment Programs
More than 23.5 million Americans are affected by substance use disorders, but less than 12% of them take advantage of the available addiction resources. Although rehabilitation and detoxification are necessary for overcoming addiction, they aren’t the same. There is a difference but they are both essential to the recovery journey.
Detoxification (Detox)The process of getting all of the addictive substances out of your body is called detox. This can be done by going “cold turkey” where you just stop using. This is not recommended because withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening at worst, and seriously uncomfortable at best.
Cold turkey attempts usually fail. It is best to go through detox in a medical facility or a detox center to monitor and ease the distress of withdrawal symptoms. Choosing a detox center can help you transition to an inpatient treatment program or outpatient therapy.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)Medication-assisted treatment is used to ease the physical symptoms of withdrawal from the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Because it addresses the painfully real physical symptoms of withdrawal, it is recommended for some substances more than others such as alcohol and opioids. However, all withdrawal is uncomfortable and some type of supervision is always needed for a safe, successful detox.
Residential RehabAfter you get through detox successfully, a rehabilitation program is a next step that will help you achieve long-term recovery. This is strongly encouraged because people who go through a brief detox and choose not to go to rehab are at a substantially higher risk of relapse.
In a residential treatment center, you will receive 24/7 monitoring to help you manage and maintain the progress you made in detox without any outside distractions. There are differences between residential treatment centers, but they all tend to treat all aspects of addiction. Mental, emotional, and spiritual healing are all addressed.
Although the 24/7 monitoring may sound like a jail, it doesn’t feel that way. Activities like yoga, family therapy, music therapy, and exercise may also be offered. In addition, nutritious, healthy, meals are provided to restore your physical health as well. This is the time to focus on yourself and your well-being.
Dual Diagnosis TreatmentA dual diagnosis means that you have a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time. Other names include “co-occurring disorder” or “comorbidity.” Unfortunately, mental health disorders often go hand in hand with drug abuse problems.
Whether you are abusing alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs your mental health can have a large impact on your substance abuse disorder. Drug abuse can both provoke mental health issues as well as make them worse. It has been found that many people suffering from some form of mental illness are likely to use drugs as a method to deal with it.
When these two conditions occur together, they feed off each other making the effects even worse. An untreated mental health issue can cause substance use disorders to get worse and increase. Then, when substance use increases, your mental health problems increase too. Treating both issues at the same time is the only way to break out of this vicious cycle.
Aftercare PlanningThe basis of addiction treatment is detox and rehab. But after rehab, you need support to stay sober. 85% of people who complete an addiction treatment program will relapse during their first year after treatment. Aftercare planning involves making a plan to stay sober. This includes living arrangements, emergency contacts, group meetings, counseling, and doctors’ appointments. Creating an aftercare plan will help the transition from rehab into an independent, sober life.
Alumni ProgramDeveloping a strong support system is a big part of recovery. When you leave rehab, it is just the beginning of a lifelong process with many opportunities to relapse. An alumni program is a valuable resource for accessing encouragement and the ongoing help needed to maintain your abstinence.
Alumni programs help you stay sober by providing a support group, practical tips for maintaining sobriety, and fun sober activities. You can meet other people who have successfully recovered from addiction and the professionals who helped them. An alumni program makes it easier to readjust to life after treatment.
Addiction TherapyBehavioral therapy helps to identify and change possibly self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors. It can be beneficial for people with a wide variety of disorders, particularly substance use disorders. It is based on the idea that since all behaviors are learned and they can be changed.
When combined with medications to manage withdrawal, reduce cravings and diminish the physical reward of substance use, behavioral therapy is often the most effective method of treatment. The most commonly used behavioral therapies used for SUD are:
- Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma therapy
Paying for Substance Abuse Treatment in California
Many people let the issue of paying for treatment keep them from getting help when there are several ways of covering the cost. They include:
- Private insurance: Private insurance companies are required to provide coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment equal to medical/surgical coverage.
- Medical loan: There are loan companies that offer medical loans with low rates even if you have a low credit score.
- Medical credit card: CareCredit is a medical credit card. You can apply and calculate payments online.
- Medi-Cal: Medi-Cal is the Medicaid program in the state of California. The Affordable Care Act guarantees that all Medicare plans provide coverage for mental and substance use disorders.
Begin Your Recovery at West Valley Detox
West Valley Detox and Residential Treatment have locations in Tarzana, Studio City, and Sherman Oaks. Our locations offer a homey atmosphere where you can safely recover from SUD. The staff at West Valley consists of experienced professionals in addiction medicine and recovery specialists.
We can provide expert treatment from a medically supervised detox to an alumni program. You never have to worry about being cut off from support. You or your loved one will become an important part of our family and eventually, our alumni. Your success is our success so contact us today. We can do this together.
If you find any of our guides helpful, please share them with friends and family so that we may prevent more lives from being lost to this deadly affliction.