February 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

7 Facts About Drugs in California

Drug use is at an all-time high in the Golden State. Some facts about substance abuse in the state may surprise you. Let’s take a closer look at seven facts about drugs in California. 


1. Substance Abuse is Widespread California

According to the California Health Care Foundation, 50% of residents in the state over the age of 12 reportedly drink alcohol. Approximately 9% of Californians — or about 3.5 million people — met the criteria for substance abuse.

Individuals struggling with addiction might consider going to a California drug rehab

2. California Wants to Pay People to Stay Sober. 


In an effort to fight addiction, California has become the first state to pay addicts to stay sober. The state’s contingency management plan was designed by Governor Newsom to help reduce the number of addicts. There are 27 California counties enrolled in various phases of the test program. Patients who test negative in drug tests are rewarded with payments from the state’s Medicaid program. 

3. Fentanyl is a Crisis in California 


Fentanyl is on the rise throughout the United States in general, and California is no exception. Fentanyl deaths in Los Angeles County alone increased by more than 1,200% from 2016 to 2021.

Fentanyl is a substance that’s similar to morphine but 100 times more potent. It’s often added to illegal substances like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and counterfeit prescription drugs. Since people have no idea they’re using fentanyl, it leads to accidental poisoning.

Seeking drug rehabilitation if you struggle with addiction to any of the illegal substances mentioned above is the best way to prevent a fentanyl death from occurring. 

4. The State Has Considered Supervised Drug Centers

In the past, California lawmakers have considered the possibility of allowing supervised drug use centers in three cities in the state. Although Governor Newsom is in support of the idea, he vetoed the bill because he doesn’t feel California is ready for it — yet

5. California Was the First State to Legalize Marijuana 

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. In 2016, it became legal for recreational purposes. Legal or not, you can still get arrested for possessing more than one ounce of marijuana. Potential charges include a misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of a $500 fine, probation, and/or 6 months in jail. 

6. Mushrooms Are Still Illegal in California 

This fact may or may not surprise you. It’s currently a myth that the psychedelic drug commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms” is legal in California. Although there was a bill in motion that aimed to decriminalize the “sharing” of this drug, it failed to get passed.

A few cities have decriminalized psychedelics, including mushrooms. It’s legal to share — but illegal to sell — shrooms in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Oakland. But the state as a whole has not moved towards decriminalizing psychedelics. 

7. California Teens are at Risk 

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, California teens are almost 25% more likely to use drugs than the national average. This is an alarming statistic for parents.

Do you suspect that your child is struggling with addiction? Keep in mind that if your teenage child is under the age of 18, you have the legal right to enroll him or her in a residential drug treatment program — even without their consent.

Substance abuse should be taken seriously. In 2019 alone, there were over 70,000 confirmed deaths from drug overdoses. Seven out of 10 of those involved opioids. It’s important to recognize the signs of drug addiction and seek help for yourself, or a loved one who you suspect may be using. 

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