Monday, April 22, 2019

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Fresno, California Rehabs

Fresno was first known as a railway stop of the Central Pacific Railroad. This metropolitan city flourished and become the fifth most populous city in California. For decades, it has continuously sustaining economic growth and development. Covering the 112 square miles, Fresno is located at the heart of San Joaquin Valley, the Southern portion of California Central Valley. It is an agricultural city that produces organically grown fruits and vegetables and is the perfect place for farmers to boom their agricultural business. The town also offers various employment options, affordable housing, and a range of attractions.

If you live in Fresno County, and have fallen victim to substance abuse don’t hesitate to seek treatment. There are enormous resources in at your disposal.
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The City and the People

Fresno’s population comprises mostly of young working individuals, with its median age of inhabitants as young as 30 years old.  In 2016, its total population was 520,159. Because of its fast-growing economy, affordable cost of housing and promising employment opportunities have attracted low to middle-income individuals to migrate to this metropolitan city.

In 2010, 50% of the population consists of Whites, 30% are Non-Hispanics, 8.3% are Black or African Americans, 46.9% are Hispanic or Latinos, 12.6% are Asians. It is a place where diverse culture, race, and beliefs are mixed into one.

Its growing population has prompted the development of new businesses, including recreational areas, nightclubs, and different dining establishments. People living in Fresco enjoy its amazing parks and the natural beauty of San Joaquin River. It is also near Millerton Lake, which is a pristine spot for camping, fishing, and other outdoor recreational activities.

Prevalence and Commonly Abused Drugs in Fresno

The crime rate in the metropolis went up in the past few years; however, local government in Freson has increased its budget allocation on crime control and strengthen its police force to manage the growing crime rate. This is a city with a large population composed of people from different cultures; thus, issues related to drug use and abuse is not uncommon. After all, it is California’s leading intravenous using drug city.

Most Common Drug of Choice

Meth use is more common in Fresno because it has its own manufacturing laboratories in the area. Almost 80% of USA’s meth comes from some of these drug warehouses and cartels in the county.

Meth is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It brings the feeling of euphoria and increases wakefulness and physical activity. It also serves as an aphrodisiac. Repeated use can lead to addiction, causing physical, mental and behavioral changes. 

This city is known for its fertile and agricultural land, but, unknown to some, it is also on a war against drugs and substance abuse from heroin, marijuana, meth, ecstasy, and cocaine.

Crimes Related To Drug Use in Fresno

Drugs, when abused, can affect intelligence and reasoning. This can lead to various social problems, such as fights with loved ones and surrounding people. It can also lead to lack of discernment between what is wrong and right.

It is quite alarming that drug-related crimes in Fresno are rampant. Unfortunately, the widespread use of drugs in the county has caused lives and ruined relationships.  Here are some of the crimes in Fresno related to drug use. 

  • A 23-year-old Fresno woman shot her toddlers and a cousin, critically wounded her husband, and then killed herself after. It turned out the mother smoked meth and she taped herself while smoking hours before the incident.This happened in January 2012. Read the full story here.
  • Juan Tapia was arrested when he intended to sell a box full of 24 pounds of crystal meth, amounting to more than $200,000. A buy-bust operation was conducted by the police and they were successful with the operation. This happened In June 2012. Read the full story here.
  • A man was caught jaywalking and stopped by the police. He ended up in bars. When he was searched, he was carrying packaged marijuana, a drug scale, and methamphetamine. Read the full story here.
  • Authorities take down a massive drug trafficking cartel in Fresno. The operation lasted for threes month. Police officers went undercover and worked with an informant to complete the case. Read the story here.

Issues Arising due to Drugs in Fresno

Spread of Blood-Borne Disease

Apparently, use of intravenous drugs is high in Fresno. Unfortunately, this may lead to spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV infection and Hepatitis B.

  • HIV, also known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a dreaded disease that is usually associated with sex and death. There is no cure for HIV, but if detected at an early stage, the patient can live normally and prevent spread to other people with the help of drugs. If not managed properly, the person’s immune system will weaken opening doors for opportunistic infections, which may cause death.
  • Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is also an incurable disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus characterized by inflammation of the liver.  According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “In the United States, an estimated 850,000-2.2 million persons have chronic hepatitis B.”

Sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment is the main reason why these diseases are spreading within circles of drug users. Another is through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. Through health education and information dissemination, this can be prevented. Programs that increase awareness to the predisposed population such as the youth, should be conducted.

Drug Cartels

Mexican drug cartels build hideouts and warehouses in Fresno because of its ideal countryside location. They use farm chemicals to cook meth, and they could operate for several months without being noticed by authorities. One of the dangers brought by these drug laboratories and cartels is the disposal of their hazardous wastes.  A pound of meth can generate or is equivalent to five to six pounds of hazardous waste. This is also harmful to the vegetation and agriculture industry as drug cartels dispose of their wastes by dumping them into farmlands that can still be used for vegetation.

Effects of Drug Problem on Development of the City

The city has a promising future because of its agricultural industry. But because of its increasing problem with drugs, it can impede the economic growth of the metropolis. Instead of allocating funds focusing the development of the city, it is assigned to programs that aim to combat the drug problem. With a large number of people in Fresno involved in drugs, development will be slow.

Marijuana Problem in Fresno

Marijuana is another problem that Fresno is facing. In the county, marijuana is readily accessible either at or through school relationships, or in nearby locations. Teens and youths are becoming increasingly affected by marijuana use and abuse. It places them at risk especially if parents are also involved in drug use and addiction. Unfortunately, high numbers of youth are able to access it within their households. If family members keep their marijuana and other drug paraphernalia within an accessible location, children and teens may experiment and attempt to use it themselves.  Grown marijuana is also subjected to theft by the younger population.

It is important that these younger people are protected from drug abuse. They should be provided with education within their home and at school. If they are exposed to drugs at an early age, this could lead to dependency and use of other forms of drugs.

There are various reasons why the youth get involved in marijuana use, here are some of them:

  1. Peer pressure. Some teens are influenced by their peers at school or at the streets. There is peer pressure to smoke marijuana so that they would appear cool to their friends.
  2. Accessible within the household.As mentioned earlier, if within the household marijuana is used freely, teens would think that it is okay to use it, because adults within the family are also using it.
  3. They want to experience it.With the increasing influence of social media, teens get curious and also want to experience the effects of the drug. A simple experimental use can lead to multiple uses and eventually abuse.
  4. To get high and feel better.Marijuana may bring a good feeling for teens experiencing problems at school or at home. But, recurrent use can cause severe damage physically, mentally and emotionally to the person who is using it.

Alcoholism in Fresno

Alcoholism means consuming too many alcoholic beverages, leading to abuse and addiction.  In an article published in NY Daily News, “The city was just awarded the dubious distinction of being the No. 1 “drunkest” city in the United States by Men’s Health magazine, as reported in USA Today.” This ranking was based on the number of accidents, DUI arrests, deaths and diseases that are brought about by alcohol use. Fresno also has the highest number of retail stores that sell alcoholic beverages.

The high rate of alcoholism in the area is unhealthy for its population. The youth are largely affected and also the families of people abusing alcohol. This is usually common in the low-income population who are earning below the poverty line. With its alcoholism problem, Fresno is making extensive efforts to control the situation. Luckily, there are services in the area that offer management and treatment of alcoholism. They have rehabilitation centers that effectively treat this condition.

A new bill was recently passed, according to ABC 30, “allowing alcohol sellers and manufacturers to offer free and discounted rides home.” This will definitely help the county with its high rate of DUI and accidents caused by alcoholism.

Efforts to Address Drug Abuse and Alcoholism

Before, California is a drug haven. People in the area can purchase and use any narcotics they want. Then it became the first state in the west to forbid the use of narcotics such as meth, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

In 1875, San Francisco ratified its first anti-drug bill affecting the public opium dens. Then, California successfully passed the pharmaceutical restrictions on cocaine and opiates in 1907. By 1913, it included marijuana among its restrictions.

In Fresno, efforts against drug abuse and alcoholism are being implemented. It has a Strategic Prevention Plan (SPP), aiming to reduce substance use and related problems. With adequate funding, they identify priority areas that will serve as the focus of their efforts.

 According to Strategic Prevention Plan published online, it followed five steps to improve substance use reduction outcomes in the County.

  • Profile population needs, resources, and readiness to address needs and gaps
  • Capacity. Mobilize and/or build capacity to address needs
  • Planning. Develop a comprehensive Strategic Plan
  • Implementation. Implement evidence‐based prevention programs and activities
  • Evaluation. Monitor, evaluate

The City of Fresno also created the FMTF or Fresno Methamphetamine Task Force, an initiative that aims to dismantle drug trade and trafficking in Central Valley. The task force consists of state, local agencies, and law enforcers. Their scope includes finding and demolishing illegal narcotics laboratories and stop the sale and distribution of drugs both locally and interstate.

One of the investigations conducted was the dismantling of marijuana honey oil production in Fresno. Manufacturing of this substance is also prevalent in Fresno. There are several more marijuana honey oil laboratories in the area. This is where Tetrahydrocannabinol “THC” is processed to turn into a pasty form.

The Task Force also investigated methamphetamine warehouses in the county. Some of the laboratories are conversions labs, where the meth is produced outside the county (Mexico). Then it is dissolved into liquid form so that trafficking of the drug is not noticeable, once it reaches the laboratory it is converted to methamphetamine ice. These laboratories are a threat to safety because the chemical used is flammable. There is one case where a drug lab burst into fire and exploded.

There are also Ecstasy drugs that are produced in Fresno. Investigations lead to the dismantling of one of the laboratories (in an apartment) in Clovis, in 2012. The lab was in the cooking stage and makes use of various chemicals that are carcinogenic and hazardous. Some are also flammable and corrosive.

Addiction Treatment in Fresno

This is the reality and extent of substance abuse and alcoholism in Fresno. It is a beautiful and developed county, that attracts many immigrants, but it has an underlying drug problem. Fresno is strengthening its efforts to address this concern. With its law enforcement and prevention plan, hopefully, the county will become a drug-free city in the future.

Fortunately, treatment for substance abuse in Fresno is readily available. There are establishments and organizations that can help people with drug abuse and alcoholism problems. They have recovery centers that provide a healthy and supportive atmosphere. This facilitates the healing and transformation of lives. The goal of a rehab center is to provide holistic treatment to people with alcohol and drug problems. They tailor the treatment depending on the extent and damage of condition of the patient.

Before a patient is rehabilitated, they are first assessed by professionals. This will help identify and classify the type of addiction and the best treatment program that can be used. They may be required to undergo a test that is important in the treatment.  There are several facilities that offer rehab treatment. It is essential to do adequate research and background check before entrusting love ones into the hands of others for treatment.

Inpatient or Residential Treatment

This kind of treatment involves staying full time in a residential treatment facility. The client will leave home for a focused treatment program. Inpatient rehab has a lot of benefits, such as 24-hour treatment from professionals. Their daily routine is incorporated into health and fitness programs. They also receive peer support because they will be living with others with similar conditions. Depending on the severity and effectiveness of treatment, it can last from one to three months. Then the client can transition to outpatient treatment. Inpatient rehab also involves detoxification program. It aims to detox clients from alcohol and drugs that cause withdrawal syndrome.

Outpatient Rehabilitation

Unlike inpatient, clients who undergo this rehabilitation program are able to go home after treatment. They have a less restrictive treatment program. The disadvantage, however, is that they will not be monitored. It is the perfect choice for a mild case of drug use. Sessions usually focus on increasing awareness about drug use, counseling and learning coping strategies. Drug users can stay at home while they undergo treatment. This leads to strong family support, and they can stay within the comfort of their home. Detox is also available in outpatient programs. More on outpatient treatment here.

Sober Living 

Living in a safe and stress-free environment is beneficial for when recovering from alcoholism and drug abuse. A healthy environment facilitates healing and improves the function of the mind and the body. This is what sober living provides to drug and alcohol addicts. They are able to live with other people with similar situation. They help people transition in living again into the community, without drugs and alcohol. This is different from inpatient rehabilitation because here, structure is not tight and they are able to work and perform outside obligations. There is freedom to go anywhere you want as long as you follow rules and policies. More on Sober Living Homes here.

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