Ready To Start Your Recovery? Have Insurance?Call Now (877) 267-3646

How Bad Is the Opioid Crisis in California and What’s Being Done About It?

You are here:
Home Addiction How Bad Is the Opioid Crisis in California and What’s Being Done About It?

In 2020, the opioid crisis in California claimed about 8,908 lives, according to the CDC.

Indeed, the opioid crisis has been on the rise across the United States since the 1990s.  The first wave of the crisis began as a result of the over-prescribing of opioids.  In 2010, the second wave brought increases in heroin overdose deaths.  The third wave began in 2013, due to increased fatal overdoses caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Today, one in ten Americans report taking opioids without a prescription, and five percent of them claimed to have abused or become addicted to the drugs.  

California Cities With the Highest Opioid Deaths

Tracking the cities with the highest opioid-related deaths helps officials determine where to allocate funding for treatment and prevention efforts.  To aid in this effort, many California cities have implemented a reporting system to track the opioid epidemic in their location.  Based on the data provided, the top 10 cities in California with the highest rates of fatal opioid overdoses in 2020 are:  

County Fatal Overdose Rate  Fentanyl Death Rate 
San Francisco 61 43
Kern 39 15
Nevada 36 18
Imperial 33 10
Butte 33 3
Humboldt 31 7
Sonoma 30 21
San Luis Obispo 29 12
Riverside 29 11
Shasta 25 4

Source:  California Department of Public Health

*Represents counties with a population of 100,000 or more

Nationwide, San Francisco city and county surpass all major cities in the number of opioid and fentanyl-related deaths.

What Is Being Done About the Opioid Crisis in California?

Although California ranks 5th in the nation for opioid overdose death rates, the state is taking proactive measures to reduce the numbers.  Statewide, the death toll continues to rise, but various organizations and government agencies are working in collaborative efforts to help people who are struggling with opioid addictions.

As with most states, the opioid epidemic in California poses a huge financial challenge.  Funds for education, recovery efforts, and overdose prevention are desperately needed.  For that reason, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recently awarded $52 million to the effort.  

California governor, Gavin Newsome had this to say about the funding:

“It is critical that treatment providers on the front lines of the opioid epidemic have the lifesaving resources they need when they need them.  Today’s efforts, in coordination with the federal government, bolster our state’s multi-pronged approach to tackling this ongoing crisis and protecting as many Californians as possible.”  

A total of $1,848,000 will be awarded to 105 service providers to help develop and implement California addiction treatment programs.  The funds are provided by the State Opioid Response III grant as part of the California MAT Expansion Project in a coordinated effort to provide services for people with opioid use disorders.

This recent grant is among several efforts by the DHCS to combat substance use and addictions.  For instance:

  • $12 million has been granted to tackle opioid use among youth.  
  • An additional $3.4 million was provided to help transform medical practices for addressing the opioid crisis.
  • $58.5 million was granted to expand youth substance use education and prevention.

Additionally, the city of San Francisco launched an $11.4 million program, Street Overdose Response Team (SORT).  This program offers harm reduction supplies and connects people to substance use treatment.  The team is working to expand staffing to provide 24/7 coverage.

Get the Best California Addiction Treatment at Design for Change Recovery

Although opioids are relatively safe when used as prescribed, a person can easily become addicted to the substances.  The risk of addiction or overdose increases when the drugs are misused.  

If you are struggling with opioid use disorder, seek help right away.  Prolonged opioid misuse will not only destroy your health but will affect every aspect of your life.

At Design for Change Recovery in beautiful Lancaster, CA, you will enjoy our comforting environment, compassionate staff, and unique, evidence-based treatment approach.  We offer a customized program that focuses on your needs and preferences to ensure that you get the perfect level of care for your situation.

Some of the program options available at our facility include cognitive-behavioral therapy, holistic therapies, group and individual counseling, fitness routines, bio-sound therapy, and more.  Our treatment philosophy is based on helping you develop a deeper understanding of addiction and recovery and learn new skills for coping with life without substance use.  

If you need opioid rehab in California, contact Design for Change today.  We will be happy to tell you about our programs and help you choose a recovery path that is right for you.  Opioids do not have to control your life any longer.  We can help.  Reach out to us by phone, email, or online to get started on the path to opioid-free living.  


How Bad Is the Opioid Crisis in California and What’s Being Done About It?