SUBSTANCE ABUSE STATISTICS AND RECOVERY RESOURCES IN WEST SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA
West Sacramento, California is a Northern California city in Yolo County. According to the most recent census, West Sacramento’s population is approximately 52,981. The city is 22.8 miles in total area according to the United States Census Bureau, and was incorporated on its own in 1987, separated from both the state capital of Sacramento, and Sacramento County by the Sacramento River that divides the region.
The recent cinematic love letter to Sacramento, Ladybird, portrayed little of the West Sacramento area, as the setting was primarily Sacramento proper. However, following the release of the Oscar-nominated film, many tourists arrived in the small town to see for themselves what The United Conference of Mayors called, in 2014, “The Most Livable City in America” among those cities with fewer than 100,000 residents.
Per West Sacramento’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s top employers are the United States Postal Service (1065 employees), followed by the State of California, General Services (1960 employees), the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (1215 employees), the United Parcel Service (1182 employees), and Xerox Healthcare (900 employees).
The city’s ethnic makeup, rounded, is predominantly Caucasian (60%) and Hispanic (31%), followed by Pacific Islander, Native American, Asian and African American. Approximately 25% of the populace is under 18, and 10% are 65 or older. Out of nearly 18,000 households, nearly half are owned by heterosexual married couples living together.
West Sacramento’s crime statistics lag behind many U.S. cities in terms of recording. According to www.cityofwestsacramento.org, in the five years prior to 2014, the city averaged 3 homicides yearly, 24 rapes, 70 robberies and 85 aggravated assaults. Other averages include 310 burglaries (differentiated from robberies and defined as crimes against persons), 800 incidents of larceny during the period, 200 motor vehicle thefts, 20 incidents of arson and 1300 crimes against property.
Some hopeful recent news is the dramatic drop in both violent and property crimes in the city of West Sacramento during 2014-2017, a decrease of collectively over 25% from 2014’s peak levels. Some credit the controversial passing of 2014’s Proposition 47 for the declines. Proposition 47 was passed in California to reduce sentences for crimes that were not considered severe, such as drug possession, and, when the total crime costs less than $950 in damages, shoplifting, check and credit card fraud, forgery, theft, and possession of stolen goods. The new maximum sentence under these terms will be one year in jail, down from three years prior to the bill’s passage.
Yolo County has repeatedly asked the District Attorney’s office to divert defendants who would qualify for the Proposition 47 model into treatment at the Yolo County Day Reporting Center. The county’s request is nonetheless, despite the bill’s passage, refused far more than approved. The Center opened its doors in 2013 to provide life skills, including vocational training.
Would the Proposition’s passage increase crime or lessen it is the ongoing debate. Would the bill be taken advantage of by juvenile offenders? On the part of those who were for the bill’s passing, the argument was that crimes such as those listed above should result in treatment, as opposed to incarceration. Local politics still argue its efficacy, however, the numbers to now are increasingly favorable.
Still, drug issues in West Sacramento remain plentiful, with many illicit substances coming in or going out (primarily the former) from or to the larger Sacramento, and Sacramento County. California’s capital presently maintains the largest percentage of opioid abuse, overdose, and treatment in the state, though declined from 2010 peak levels. Further, the city maintains the second-highest percentage in the state of newborn drug addicts, primarily from prescription painkillers abused by expectant mothers. This information is based on ongoing studies by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
In Western Sacramento, the abuse of prescription pain killers remains a major issue, while methamphetamine and pot are the most commonly-used drugs, due to the extensive regional production of both, and, in the case of the latter, increased exploitation of medical marijuana laws. The demand for heroin has increased in recent years, while alcohol has remained consistent.
THE MULTIPLE STAGES OF ABUSE
A cursory internet search will yield information regarding the multiple stages of substance abuse. Here is the gist:
The initial stage of substance usage is either experimental, or recreational. For those who choose to experiment with either alcohol or drugs, most either go no further following the first use, or, in the instance of the latter, they use on a controlled basis.
However, that’s a tricky comment and easily misunderstood on its surface. The word most is misleading, as recreational usage frequently leads to heavier usage. Still, the article is highly-informative, and well worth a read, and indeed does go on to explain that those who find their experimentation pleasurable may continue to repeat the rush, and begin to abuse the drug. Continued use is the second state, and tolerance is the third, as the user will look for bigger fixes as old tolerances no longer apply. Abuse is the fourth stage, followed by addiction.
Among the steps that must be taken to support the struggles of an addict, while breaking him or her away from their addiction, include removing the addict from their negative environment (including the company of dealers and fellow abusers) and placing them within a therapeutic community, the necessity of entering a rehab program and participating in psychological and emotional counseling, and how to spot triggers so as to hedge against relapsing.
WEST SACRAMENTO DRUG CULTURE
As Los Angeles County’s drug issues have spilled into the entirety of Southern California, so too with the metropolises of San Francisco and Sacramento into smaller areas like West Sacramento. Like its southern brethren, illegal drugs are readily available at wholesale prices, and West Sacramento remains a strong transit area due to its proximity to the state capital.
Local politics have also of late conflicted with evolving federal laws as it regards the legalization of marijuana. Pot continues to be produced both indoors and outdoors, in widespread efforts to take advantage of the medical marijuana accessibility. Exploitation of pot laws are expected to remain an ongoing issue for the immediate future.
As to specifics in West Sacramento:
- In 2000, 26.2% of total drug treatment admissions in the state capital were related to methamphetamine. The rest broke down as follows: 6% heroin, 4% cocaine, 2% alcohol, 1% pot, and 5% other drugs. By the end of 2017, these admissions lessened by an average of nearly 30% across the board (save for opioids, which decreased only 5%), while in West Sacramento, the statistical decease was approximately 25% for pot, alcohol, and other drugs, an approximate 10% decrease in cocaine, and an increase in meth and heroin.
- In 2013, federal narcotics agents raided a local Costco for purchasing more hydrocodone than any other outlet in the state. The pain-suppressing Hydrocodone, a semi-synthetic opioid, can lead to euphoria in higher doses, and subsequent abuse. The opioid is also frequently found in over the counter cough syrup.
- Similar to Los Angeles and endemic in the state, some traffickers have turned towards pseudoephedrine diversion and sales. Reason behind the pivot is the ingredient’s federal illegality (the Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005), since banned from over-the-counter cold medications which used to be readily available.
- Also alongside Los Angeles, and also San Francisco, ecstasy (and similar party drugs) are consistent issues. Known as the original “love drug,” the hallucinogenic stimulant – a synthesized MDMA compound – was regularly prescribed by psychiatrists in the 1970s-1980s for patients suffering from emotional or psychological difficulties. The drug is not as popular for traffickers as pot or meth, though it continues to be a concern.
- Crystal meth is readily available in West Sacramento. The existence of Internet listings identifying prime buying locations, regardless of the likelihood that such listings are plants, underscores a potentially larger problem: the portending of a drug issue that has yet to catch up with other opioid-related abuses.
- Over 50% of all car crash deaths in West Sacramento, a bit beyond the national average, are alcohol-related. 32% of drinkers participate in binge-drinking.
- Caucasian patients comprise the majority of hospital admissions for those seeking help with substance abuse, at 45% (across the board substance abuse). African Americans follow with 24.3% of all such admissions (primarily opioids, pot and alcohol), Hispanics with 21.5% (primarily opioids, pot and alcohol), and all other ethnic groups 8.6%.
- Accidental drug poisoning, typically from pain-killers, is the most common cause of drug- and alcohol-related deaths, at nearly half. Alcoholic-related liver disease is a close second, followed by psychosis, dependence, myopathy, intentional overdoses and alcohol poisoning.
As with other California cities, authorities in West Sacramento have stepped up in response to drug demand, and the national opioid battle. The city maintains a large number of highly-desirable treatment options for your consideration, both private and public. Regardless of the degree of your use, as ever, you will always be able to find an option that is best suited for your needs.
The Addiction Treatment Process
There are various steps involved in addiction treatment and recovery. Having knowledge of them can help just about anyone understand how treatment is done. Here is a list of FAQ about rehab to look over.
To determine the extent and nature of one’s addiction, pre-intake questions may include the following: “How long have you been using?” “Do you believe you have a problem?” “Do you think others who know you believe you have a substance-related problem?” “Have others confronted you with questions related to substance abuse?” “Do you ever use alone?” “Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking one particular drug was the problem?” “Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?” “Have you ever been in a jail, a hospital, or a drug rehabilitation center because of your using?”
You can find pre-intake sample applications online. In this case, as with any other self-diagnostic tool, the questions as asked are exploratory only. You must speak to a trained and licensed professional for any true diagnosis. Still, such online tools such as a pre-intake questionnaire can be extremely useful. If you can honestly answer those questions, you may be validated, or you may dislike your responses. If you were drawn to the tool, likely both will apply. Regardless, consider your results, and then take necessary action.
There are pros and cons with online resources such as these, particularly when it comes to completely basing your treatment decisions on your own responses. That would be a negative, as remember, such questions are guidelines only without a trained professional to analyze your answers. Regardless of whether such questions are based on true-life examples of treatment center queries (they usually are), you may not be the best arbiter of your responses. Most especially if you are under the influence of any drug, or alcoholic drink. On the positive side, if you can be truthful with your answers, such online questions will certainly provide a glimpse into your condition, and the need for help.
Kudos to you for checking such online resources to begin with. That’s certainly a proactive start.
A quick note: Even if you don’t believe you are addicted, but are concerned that your usage is growing, help is out there. You do not have to be on the far side of addiction to reach out to various resources on The Recover. In the same spirit, if you are drawn to use, but have not yet, The Recover provides resources available to you as well. It is never too early, nor is it ever too late. These are tools that have been formed for reason, and they are there for you.
Many addicts, or users with a problem whose usage is not yet defined as an addiction, make the mistake of not taking the first step towards sobriety as it regards intake. If you need help in making an informed decision as to what treatment method is right for you, we cannot encourage you strongly enough to, again, speak to family and/or friends who have been there before. Sometimes, a user has a difficult time making such decisions with a clear head.
And once more, if you know of no one who has been through these issues before, please contact one of the centers as listed on this page.
Also, we encourage you to ask yourself a few questions: 1) What is holding you back from getting help? 2) Do you believe you have a support system? If so, do you feel comfortable contacting them and speaking about your problem? If not, would you feel more comfortable contacting a professional? And 4) Do you believe you are capable of making an informed decision as to your treatment? If yes, you are well-advised to take advantage of one or more of the resources here. If no, you are strongly advised to contact one of the phone numbers listed here, and discuss your reservations.
Again, they are there to help.
During the intake application process, you will be required to list your prescription medications and days and times taken (if “none,” you check “none”), an authorization of medical care, a list of allergies or other medical issues, and a waiver of responsibility. Some applications ask more. A physician or treatment center representative will then review your application for the proper steps, and treatment.
If you have come this far, you have taken a major step towards reclaiming your life, and your potential.
The concept and practice of detox is typically broken down into three distinct phases: Evaluation, Stabilization, and Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab.
Evaluation: As overseen by a doctor, who will determine what drugs are presently being used, how long has the patient been using, and how much and how frequently the patient uses.
Stabilization: As expounded on the site, stabilization differs patient to patient, based on specific substance being abused. This is the end result of the withdrawal phase.
Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab: Many addicts believe that once they complete withdrawal, they are finished with their treatment. That is a dangerous belief, as withdrawal only releases the immediate physical hold of the substance.
Communication is key. Some users are resistant to treatment, most especially when in a treatment center against their will. In this instance, your communication with your specialists will be at risk. Remember, they are there to help you. You have the freedom to ask questions, and the right to receive answers.
That is one of the benefits of treatment, a better understanding of your illness.
INPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Inpatient treatment is frequently misunderstood, as there are several options available to the user under that umbrella title. Many people believe the term to refer to only hospital treatment. Or, only highly-restrictive treatment. In reality, it is neither.
Inpatient treatment can either be PHP (a partial hospitalization providing a highly-structured environment, with typically active treatment of 30 hours per week), the less-intensive IOP (intensive outpatient treatment plan, which requires up to three hours daily over 3-5 days, for a total of nine hours weekly; therapy is usually included, but the patient can live either at their own home or a halfway house during the process), and an RTC (residential).
Though you may be the best determinant of the degree of inpatient recovery resources best suited to your needs, frequently one may need the help of family or friends to help you more clearly identify the treatment options that are most prudent for your needs. From there, only your personal commitment will determine your success.
PHPs and RTCs are amazing resources for those with more severe or difficult abuse issues. Both options are highly-structured, especially the former. The importance of structure cannot be understated. You will have a time for medicinal treatment, a time for personal or group therapy, a time to rest, a time for activities …
Frequently, a user has little structure outside of the treatment center. The user is more interested in the high than by scheduling their day via their clock. The structure of PHP treatment, particularly, may be a challenge for some. But, if you allow the treatment to take its course, the end-result can exceed your most optimistic hopes.
So ask yourself: “Do I do well in a structured environment?” “Am I functional in a structured environment, or will I have a better chance to succeed with something less restrictive? As ever, a user if not always the best determinant as to treatment. If a user is high while making the decision, that will be in no one’s best interests. It’s time to commit, with as free a sense of mindfulness as possible.
OUTPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Outpatient treatment is a comprehensive approach to wellness, and no less impactful than inpatient services. Please research the importance of outpatient treatment resources on The Recover, or speak to loved ones who have been through the process. Recovery is an ongoing process, which requires a substantive lifestyle change to avoid the ever-present threat of a relapse.
Let’s discuss a bit further. Outpatient treatment allows the patient a certain level of responsibility to remain clean while outside of the treatment center. You will face temptations but will have also learned specific strategies as to how to deal with them. It is up to you to take advantage of those lessons. There is a certain degree of trust on the part of the outpatient treatment administrators that the user will remain clean, and at the same time outpatient treatment allows for the user to remain productive on the outside while still receiving help. If you work, you can schedule your outpatient appointments or check-ins after hours.
One very important point, though, under this or any treatment circumstance: The entirely of your treatment is a commitment. Outpatient or not, if you miss one appointment you will likely miss another.
That is a recipe for failure. What you allow, you encourage.
Never allow an excuse to fail. More precisely, let’s say it as it is: There are countless reasons why one would fail, in this or any other environment. Laziness, rigidity, intimidation …
There are fewer reasons to succeed: Yourself, first of all, then your loved ones (your collective of family and friends). Which means more to you? The pain of the commitment to get well, or the pleasure of using? If you answer the latter question as your affirmative, consider those loved ones who care about you, and worry about you.
On that note, let us elaborate upon the concept of commitment for a moment. Some users resent the term, thinking many of those who do not use, or who are not otherwise plagued by addiction, tend to believe commitment is that much easier than it truly is. How can a user commit to anything at all, one may ask, much less treatment if said user is overwhelmed by their addiction?
It is very difficult. Really, it is. But you can do this. You can reclaim your life, as none of us are defined by our addictions.
AFTERCARE AND SOBER LIVING RESOURCES
Not all sober houses or aftercare facilities are created equal. However, you will frequently be surrounded by others in a supportive and understanding environment, others who have undergone similar difficulties. Sober houses most frequently prove to the addict – which as you see here is a message on repeat – that you are not alone.
There have been several popular television shows on various networks over the last decade that have dramatized the sober living experience. We suggest that you watch with caution, as several of these shows contain scripted elements that do not necessarily give a positive view of what could be a positive experience.
We’ve seen users looking forward to attending sober houses for all the wrong reasons. The sober house experience is an often integral part of your overall treatment. But, it can be as abused as the substances for which you have been admitted.
You will live among others in a place away from your home. A sober care facility will actually be your new home until you leave. Others can influence you, so be careful. Sober living can be a hugely beneficial and beautiful experience, but you must remember, you are still in treatment.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
West Sacramento, California has been proactive in its efforts to curb its drug issues. According to www.drugabuse.gov, the largest current apprehension is that heroin usage will evolve. The fear relates to its growing availability through the state’s drug traffickers, and a perception of increasing affordability. The economy is strong in Northern California, and there is no indication of a correction any time soon. However, West Sacramento’s proximity to San Francisco, and the state capital of Sacramento, enables a certain accessibility and ease of attainment of illegal drugs. This is endemic to locales near large metropolitan areas.
As with Los Angeles County, savvy DTOs have taken advantage of chemically altering the strength of meth. For addicts who require an ever-greater fix, the stronger version of the drug, though down somewhat in sales from prior years, remains a great temptation. Also, the ongoing issue of legal medical marijuana has created a new power-base for those who grow and traffic in cannabis. Further economic growth will be a large determinant as to where and how the illicit drug battle will change, or remain stagnant, from here forward. Current politics and ongoing issues regarding illegal immigration, particularly within the Mexican community – a group that has been particularly susceptible to engaging in Los Angeles trafficking – will surely have an effect.
Trafficking crosses lines between southern and Northern California cities, and is expected to do so for the immediate future,
Interestingly, many DTOs have left larger metropolitan areas in favor of smaller communities. West Sacramento may be primed to pivot, positively or negatively, based on several outside factors over and above politics and ever-changing social policy. Where the DTOs will earn the most, where they will be considered “safe” from the local authorities or the federal government, where they can operate and continue to do so – and for how long a time – will all play a role.
The drug battle is ongoing. The availability will continue to be present, and, for many, so will the temptation. But the help is out there.
Perhaps by necessity, West Sacramento is particularly active and supportive as it regards the fight against addiction. Their numbers of hospital admissions have substantially decreased since the beginning of the millennium. The centers listed above have been positively reviewed, and friendly staff are readily available to meet your needs. Let the buyer beware, of course. Be sure to read all reviews including the negative, prior to selecting your treatment options. If you know of others who have been through these programs, speak to them. If you have a sponsor, all the better. Always do your own research as well.
You will become your own best friend in this process, by virtue of being aware of your issue and appropriately acting upon it.
One more point we should discuss. We mentioned that online research is a terrific option for trying to locate a treatment center that is right for you. We also discussed contacting the centers directly. When you do, be sure to ask any and all questions you may have. You are what matters in this process. And also this: If you know of anyone who has undergone treatment, and only if they have been open with you about it, speak to them. Ask them about their treatment. Unlike AA and other anonymous groups, in our experience we have found that, when asked, many who have become clean are willing to talk about their days in treatment. As we all know, the process of addiction is day-to-day. Treatment is no different. As long as you understand, however, that help is but a phone call away, taking action is the most positive step you can take for yourself.
We are here to help.