2016 Drug Trends in Sacramento
The city of Sacramento is perhaps more famous for being the state capital of California than for its drug problem. Sacramento is infamous for being the city in all of California that has the highest rate of opioid abuse and overdose.
Public Health Concerns
Is it possible for a newborn baby to be a drug addict? Well, believe or not, it is. In fact, the city of Sacramento is notorious for having the second highest rate in the entire state for newborn drug addicts. In a sad case reported by Philip Reese in an article entitled, ‘More Sacramento-area newborns suffer withdrawal resulting from moms’ drug use’, the number of newborns born with drug addiction symptoms is alarming.
In recent studies it was discovered that many pregnant women were not directly involved in abusing recreational or street drugs, but painkillers. It is the abuse of these prescription painkillers that has led to the problems that the newborns now face.
The alarming figures show that 43 babies born in 2010, out of a recorded 20,055, were diagnosed as having a drug addiction problem at birth. It may sound small, but put it in a different way, that’s a total of 2.14 cases of drug addicted newborns at birth for every 1,000 births. Have neonatal wards been turned into rehab wards for infants? These are the worries of city health officials. It is a cause for concern for public health specialists.
Drug Statistics in the City
Opioid overdoses have been the bane of hospitals in the city. Most emergency room visits are the result of drug overdose. The number of people being attended to and admitted to hospitals because of opioid overdoses has been on the rise since 2006. This is based on reports by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Fox6now.com ran an article claiming that since 23rd March, 2016, there have been 42 cases of overdose and 10 deaths in Sacramento to date.
The number of deaths in Sacramento, as a result of opioids however, seems to be going down since 2010, when it peaked.
There are several factors to blame the epidemic in the city. First and foremost are doctors who overprescribe painkillers. Next are drug dealers on the streets of Sacramento who either sell drugs to make a living or sell drugs to supplement another income.
The Burden of Drugs on the City
Taxpayers often have to bear the brunt of looking after drug addicts and residents in Sacramento. In 2010, they had to pay $2.27 billion dollars for substance abuse costs. When the damage to the drug addict’s quality of life was factored in, the cost rose to an astronomical $7.77 billion dollars.
When it comes to the most common drugs in the city, it comes as no surprise that methamphetamine and cannabis top the list of most common drugs. This is largely because the two drugs are grown and cultivated in the region extensively. 53% of all people arrested in the city test positive for cannabis. Another 40% of all arrestees tested positive for meth. Other drugs such as cocaine and heroin are mostly trafficked in from Mexico.
The drug abuse death rate in the city has increased over the years from 6.49 deaths per 100,000 people in 2000 to more than double at 15.41 deaths per 100,000 people in 2007. There is a very strong correlation between the high death rate caused by drug abuse and the rise of drug use in the city.
While everything else might appear negative, there is one positive thing to remark about the city’s drug trend. The city’s drug related crime rate has actually gone down between the years 2000 and 2008. In 2000, the rate stood at 1,028 people per every 1,000 who got attacked, but in 2008 the rate had gone down significantly to 823 people per every 100,000.
Drug Rehab Statistics
Sacramento boasts several rehab centers with both inpatient and outpatient programs. One has the freedom to select group therapy sessions or is free to opt for private addiction counseling. There are also programs geared at those looking to detox or those who need intervention to help them stop. Most calls to these centers are toll free. Many programs are low cost or are fully paid government sponsored programs. Some programs have no cost whatsoever.
Private counseling and private programs can cost anywhere upward of $9,000 per month. They usually run a 12-step program that are also used across the country.