Drug Statistics and Treatment in Sunnyvale, California
Sitting on the Central California coast, Sunnyvale is located in Santa Clara County along with the cities of Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Saratoga. It contains the neighborhoods of Plaza Del Rey, Nimitz, Snail, Cherry Orchard, Wrightmont Corners, Gavello Glen, Lakewood, Cumberland South, Heritage District, Sunnyarts, Sunnyvale Civic Center, Panama Park, Morse Park, Braly Corners, Lowlanders, San Miguel, and Stratford Gardens. It has a population of 149,980.
California’s drug abuse rates have increased 50% between the years 2006 and 2013. With Californian hospitals treating over 11,500 patients with opioid overdoses in the latter year. There were 156 drug-abuse-related deaths located in Sunnyvale, CA from 2010- 2013, with 34 lives claimed in 2013 alone.
Primary drugs abused in Sunnyvale are oxycodone, benzodiazepines, Adderall, and Ambien with victims being as young as 12 years of age. These drugs can lead to severe crimes as was seen in November 2017’s Christopher Oicles’ case, where he was arrested for suspected stalking, attempting to kidnap for rape, possession of illegal arms, as well as manufacturing methamphetamine.
CALIFORNIA DRUG LAWS
Heroin is considered Schedule 1 in the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. It is illegal to possess under California Health And Safety Code 11350 and illegal to possess for sale under Code 11351. Other opiates such as raw opium, opium poppy, straw, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine are considered Schedule 2 under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or “ecstasy”) is categorized as Schedule 1 on the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. It is illegal for possession under Health and Safety Code 11377 and for possession of sale under code 11378.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), all forms of peyote, Dimethyltryptamine, 4-methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine (DOM/STP), gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), bufotenin (toad venom), and ibogaine are all categorized as Schedule 1 under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. LSD is illegal for possession under Health and Safety Code 11377 and illegal for possession for sale under Code 11378.
Psilocybin, otherwise referred to as “mushrooms”, are considered Schedule 1 under the California Uniform Controlled Substance Act. They are illegal to possess, purchase, sell, trade, or give away if intended for cultivation. Growing mushrooms containing this drug is considered manufacturing a controlled substance.
Amphetamines (Methamphetamine, amphetamine, and dimethylamphetamine) are on Schedule 2 of the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Methamphetamines in particular are illegal to possess or possess for sale in California according to Health and Safety Codes 11378 and 11377. Harsher sentences are reserved for those who manufacture any amphetamines.
Phencyclidine (PCP) is categorized as Schedule 2 under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act. It is illegal to possess under Health And Safety Code 11377 and illegal to possess for sale under Code 11378.
Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, Coca Leaves, and all other forms of Cocaine have been categorized as Schedule 2 under the California Uniform Controlled Substance Act. It is illegal for possession under Health and Safety Code 11350.
Ketamine is illegal to possess according to Health And Safety Code 11377 HS. It is considered Schedule 3 under the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
Anabolic Steroids (i.e. testosterone and human chorionic gonadotropin) have been categorized as Schedule 3 according to the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
Other Controlled Substance
While alcohol is legal to purchase, possess, and consume for adults over the age of 21 in California, it is still a regulated substance and a licence is required for sale at stores, bars, and restaurants.
Nicotine/Tobacco is also legal to consume, possess, and purchase for adults over the age of 21. It is also a regulated substance, however, and a licence must be obtained for sale.
DRUG ABUSE STATISTICS
Sunnyvale is located in a region known as the Northern California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Its transportation services facilitates trafficking from Asia, Canada, Europe, and Mexico as well as distribution to the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, Hawaii, Canada, and the East Coast.*
Drug Seizures by the Northern California HIDTA in kilgrams, 2010*
Cocaine (powder) – 89.302
Cocaine (crack) – 2.394
Methamphetamine (powder) – 23.582
Methamphetamine (ice) – 806.572
Heroin – 8.20
The number of drug-related treatment admissions to publicly-funded facilities in Northern California HIDTA in 2010: 26,317
(*Northern California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis 2011)
SIGNS OF DRUG ABUSE AND ADDICTION
Think a loved one may be struggling with addiction? Here are a few general tell-tale signs that can help you identify whether a loved one might have developed an addiction:
- Bloodshot or glazed eyes
- Excessively constricted or dilated pupils
- Abrupt weight change
- Bruises or infections at drug insertion site
- Yellowing skin
- Burn marks around the mouth and fingers
- Scratch sores on skin
- Lack of interest in personal hygiene
- Increased aggression or irritability
- Sudden changes in social networks
- Detrimental sleep patterns (remaining awake or asleep for longer than normal)
- Sudden personality changes
- Excessive desire for privacy
- Defensive behavior
- Excessive disinterest in important activities such as school or work
You may be at risk for drug abuse if:
- You have an unsupportive/non-present family or members who have a drug addiction
- Your friends, co-workers, or other peers abuse drugs
- You’ve been exposed to physical, emotional, mental or other kinds of abuse
- You have used or have been addicted to drugs at an early age
- You’re overly stressed
- You struggle with mental health such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc
- You experience financial or academic failure
There is no substitute for a professional drug screening by a trained doctor. However, in order to determine a possible need to approach a medical professional about a possible addiction, you may attempt one or a few of many self-assessment tests out there.
These tests will ask you to take a look at your lifestyle and habits, asking questions such as
- Has the quality of your health, happiness, and/or relationships declined since starting the use of drugs?
- Do you go to excessive lengths to obtain drugs?
- Has drug abuse ever caused you to seek medical attention?
- Does the thought of taking drugs cross your mind excessively?
- Have you had difficulty remembering events after using drugs?
- Has your academic and/or professional performance decreased since starting the use of drugs?
- Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you have not taken drugs in a while?
The most accurate question you could ask yourself to determine if you may be abusing drugs, however, is this: “How many times in the past year have you taken an illegal drug or used a prescription drug for nonmedical reasons?
Before you are admitted into a rehabilitation program, you will visit a medical professional who will help determine if you have an addiction, what kind of addiction it is, if there are any coexisting addictions, and what recovery method will be best for you as an individual. Hiding or fudging any pertinent information about your addiction can seriously damage your chances at recovery. Being honest and forthright to your doctor is imperative to developing a rehabilitation plan that is tailored towards your success.
You doctor/physician/or counsellor will review your physical and mental health and ask you questions about what led to these substance abuse habits. A few methods can be used, including the Texas Christian University Drug Screen II (TCUDS II), which is a 15 item self-assessment that takes 5-10 minutes to complete, or the CAGE test, which contains the following questions:
- Have you ever felt that you need to Cut down on your drug use?
- Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drug use?
- Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your drug use?
- Have you ever used drugs first thing in the morning (Eyeopener) or to steady your nerves or get the day started?
The intake process generally consists of five steps:
- Contacting an admissions coordinator
- Complete a few interviews and questionnaires
- Receive medical and mental health assessment
- Learn about your treatment program
- Meet with your therapist
Contacting An Admissions Coordinator
In this step, you will call the facility and provide information such as name, age, and addiction type and severity. All information you give is kept confidential.
The intake process requires quite a few interviews and questionnaires to tailor the treatment process to your exact needs. A few questions may include, “What drugs are you currently using?”, “How long have you been using these drugs?”, “Have you attended a rehab facility before?”, and “What encouraged you to seek assistance now?”
Medical and Mental Health Assessments
If mental health issues weren’t present at the start of the addiction, consistent drug abuse will bring about the very worst thoughts in the very best people. Your facilitator will determine how far the abuse has affected you and place any necessary treatments that will benefit your mental and physical health into your overall recovery plan.
Learning About Your Treatment Plan
No two addictions are exactly alike. Your physician or counsellor will lay out the plan tailored towards your recovery so you can work with your team towards success.
Meeting With Your Therapist
You will then meet your therapist, who will be your mentor in overcoming your addiction and beginning your new life.
After the Intake process is completed, you may need to submit for detoxification. This will rid your system of all harmful substances and cleanse the chemicals from your body. You may experience symptoms of withdrawal at this stage with varying degrees of severity. There may be medications available to ease these symptoms during this process, so check in with your therapist and physician to see what options are available that will help you the most.
This method of treatment creates a safe, controlled atmosphere in which the patient can come and separate themselves from the pressures of everyday living so they can heal both physically and mentally from an addiction. Please call before admission to find out what personal possessions are and are not allowed as well as to see what your new daily life will be like.
Schedules may include activities such as group therapy, yoga, and other healthful activities that will create helpful habits to assist in preventing relapse. An inpatient program may last anywhere from 3-6 weeks to 6-12 months, depending on the needs of the patient.
Sometimes, Inpatient treatments are either unnecessary or not recommended for a patient’s needs. If this is the case, outpatient care is also available. This option may be provided when a patient is employed or if the addiction is very mild. Outpatient methods may include personal or group therapy, drug education, and day intensives that implement the 12-Step Initiative to best serve the needs of the patient and ensure success.
The longer the aftercare for a patient, the greater the increase of the chances of their success. The goals of every aftercare program are the same. They include the desires to: maintain recovery from substance abuse, the discovery of methods to prevent relapse, and to create a life full of meaningful relationships and purpose. Continued therapy during this phase is vital. You may select from a number of various methods to add on to the therapy appointments you attend, such as equine therapy, group therapy, or family councils.
At times, a patient may not feel comfortable enough with their new habits to immediately return to society. In these cases, places called Sober Living Houses are available. Places like this are dedicated to assisting recovering addicts in their pathway to re-entering the pressures of everyday life. Regular jobs are encouraged, homes regularly inspected, and therapy sessions, both group and personal, are provided to ensure success.
No two addictions are exactly alike and none will be eradicated within a mere day or two. It takes time, patience, and dedication to change one’s life, but when that burden is lifted, you will find a sense of self you may have never experienced before.