San Diego is “America’s Finest City” but is not immune to the prescription drug epidemic that has so negatively affected many communities in the United States.
In San Diego County, the number of deaths caused by prescription drug overdose has been increasing from 2007 to 2011, according to details found in a recently released report. These increases coincided with rising crime rates for prescription drug related crimes, including pharmacies being robbed, along side a dramatic increase in emergency room visits caused by opiate abuse. Prescription drug abuse is becoming a serious issue across San Diego County and the nation as a whole.
Prescription drugs were responsible for 267 deaths in 2011 in San Diego County. This marks more than a 25% increase in the number of deaths since 2007. What is most disturbing about this statistic is that only a small number of those who abuse prescription drugs die, so with that relatively small numerical increase comes an alarming increase in over all numbers of prescription drug abusers.
The number of robberies that took place at pharmacies rose from nine all the way up to 26, which marks a jump of 188%. This sharp increase shows one of the many dangers of prescription drug abuse, which is the dramatic rise in crime that coincides with the abuse.
Prescription drug abuse has spread like wildfire, partially because the drugs are relatively easy to acquire when compared to more illicit substances. Just about everyone has either been prescribed pain killers, or knows someone who has, making them readily available. This is trickling down to younger people as well, as high school and even middle school drug abuse has been on the rise as well. The report illustrated that prescription drug abuse was taking place in children as young as twelve years old, for recreational and social purposes.
Opiate abuse is a costly problem in San Diego County and the rest of the country. Hopefully as awareness rises, the problem will begin to go away. Contact our treatment center if you or someone you love is struggling with prescription drug addiction.