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Meth: Why Is It the Primary Drug of Abuse in California?

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Like every state in America, California struggles with drug-related problems.  In fact, in California, meth is the most abused drug today.  The rural farming areas in the southern part of the state are home to many super-labs that can cook hundreds of pounds of meth all at once.   This situation contributes to the rate of meth abuse in CA in recent year.

Due to the proximity to Mexico at its southern border, California is unfortunately right in the path of drug traffickers.  To date, more than half a million California residents use meth.

Meth-Related Crime in California

Meth Abuse in CAMost crimes can be traced back to drugs in one way or another, according to one California sheriff.   He further states that the majority of crimes involve methamphetamine, heroin, or alcohol.  

Over six years, 70% of shootings by police in San Bernardino County were due to drug-related activity.  Statistics don’t indicate how many of the shootings involved meth-related activities specifically.  Furthermore, about 35% of CA state prisoners admit to using drugs when committing crimes.  

What Are the Statistics for Meth Abuse in CA?

Statistics provided by the DHS reveal some shocking facts regarding meth trafficking and abuse in California:

  • About 97% of meth seizures happen at or near the Southwest border.
  • More than 54% of the meth seizures were conducted within the San Diego corridor.
  • Meth-related drug poisonings increased by 237% in 8 years.
  • In the Central Valley, individuals admitted to treatment programs identified meth as their drug of choice.
  • In Orange County, 44% of admissions to treatment programs were for meth abuse.
  • California has the 6th highest meth seizures of any state.
  • Meth has been the leading cause of fatal overdoses in the San Francisco Bay area for years.

Additionally, meth has become a significant drug threat in Northern California, reports  the National Drug Intelligence Center.  

What Are the CA Laws Regarding Meth Abuse?

Without reservation, the state of California strictly enforces its meth laws.  Law enforcement imposes harsh penalties for meth violations in attempts to clean up the streets.  Here are some of California’s Health and Safety Code Charges regarding meth:

Possession of Meth – Possession of meth is prohibited without a valid prescription. Penalties for possession are charged as a misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.  For those with prior felony convictions, possession is charged as a felony resulting in up to 16 months to 3 years in state prison.

Possession of Meth with Intent to Sell – Prohibits methamphetamine possession with intent to sell.  Carries a felony conviction with 16 months to 3 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.  

Transport of Sale of Meth – Prohibits the exchange of anything of value, the transport, provision, or administration of methamphetamines.  This offense is charged as a felony with 2 to 4 years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000.  Transporting meth across more than two countries increases jail time to 3 to 9 years.  

Manufacturing a Controlled Substance – Prohibits manufacturing, producing, compounding, extracting, or processing of an illegal substance.  This is a felony offense punishable by one year in jail, or 3 to 7 years in state prison, and a fine of up to $50,000.

Sentences for meth offenses can add to jail time.  For instance, the location, quantity, and involvement of a minor can extend the time spent in jail or prison.

A person who serves time for meth-related convictions will never be free.  Their criminal record will cause lifelong problems with getting a job, housing, and child custody to name a few.

Ways to Decrease Meth Abuse in CA

Undeniably, the state of California works diligently to reduce meth abuse and overdose statistics.  The state utilizes various programs focused on substance use prevention and education for both youth and adults. The California Department of Education website provides a list of programs, strategies, and other resources that may be helpful if you would like to learn more.

Treatment for Meth Abuse in CA at Design for Change

Meth abuse in California rises significantly at a rate of about 17% every year.  Affordable, evidence-based addiction treatment provides one solution to the ever-increasing epidemic.  A full continuum of care program such as Design for Change Recovery can reduce meth addiction and related problems long-term.

As part of our comprehensive meth addiction treatment program, we offer counseling, skills training, and holistic therapies to help people heal physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Our personalized programs allow clients to find their own path to recovery.  Our facility also offers intervention, dual diagnosis treatment, detoxification on-site, and medication-assisted treatment.

To ensure that our clients get the exact level of care they need we offer a variety of programs.  For instance, depending on your needs, the following programs are available at Design for Change:

  • Outpatient Programs
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs
  • Inpatient/Residential Programs
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs
  • Extended Care Services

Meth abuse will ultimately take control of all aspects of your life.  Don’t allow this to happen.  Reach out to Design for Change Recovery today.  You can reach us by phone, email, or online for a confidential assessment with one of our treatment advisors.

Sources: – Methamphetamine: California’s Persistent Drug Threat – Meth Use by State 2023

Meth: Why Is It the Primary Drug of Abuse in California?