California Addiction Statistics

No addict is a number. Something the epidemic of addiction in this country should have taught us is that each individual addict is different. They all have different reasons for where they are and how they got there. Nonetheless, looking at the statistics behind addiction in a given community can give us a better understanding of the disease. It’s very clear as we watch the consistency of overdose numbers in California continue to be in the thousands that addiction recovery treatment is evermore vital.


There are a myriad of options for California rehab programs but still, Californians, like addicts in other states are not overwhelmingly not getting help. Why is this? How can it be that with all of the treatment facilities available, and insurances paying more than they used to, that most addicts within California and so many other states stop short of getting treatment. Instead many end up overdosing, ending up in the emergency room, or worse, fatally overdosing. The reason is more simple than you might think. Addiction as a disease makes getting help take great courage and it takes support and determination. A person has to be in the right mind to get there. Addiction can stop someone in their tracks.


California Addiction Statistics

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health report, California has some trending numbers that deserve a closer in order to better understanding the landscape of drug and alcohol addiction in California communities.


According to the report, the most used substances and their percentages of use among 18-24 year olds are as follows:


  • Heroin use in the past year: .43%
  • Cocaine use in the past year: 7.16%
  • Prescription drugs: 8.03%
  • Alcohol Binge: 35.9%


The most popular substance of choice for Californians, like so many in the USA is Alcohol. According to the report, 35.9% of Californians engage in binge drinking. The problem of binging alcohol can lead to serious injury, domestic violence, short term memory loss, alcohol poisoning, and even death.


Prescription drug abuse is the next most prevalent drug abused in the state of California. Opioids right now are a growing crisis for the entire nation, and as a whole California’s numbers are trending downward, however prescription use is still high with 21,787,042 opioid prescriptions throughout California in 2017 according to the California Opioid Dashboard. (


Cocaine use is third in line with 7.16% of Californian’s reporting using cocaine according to the National Survey. Cocaine use can be a real problem for a community because like every drug it affects the life of the user but also can very heavily influence the people around you too. Cocaine has a high risk of aggression that comes with it. It also has a risk of bringing with it infectious diseases when injected.


Heroin, another drug that is known for its needles, carries a high risk for infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. It’s coming in at only .43%, but what hides in these statistics is how quickly a user can overdose on heroin. Even while Californian’s are actually recovering a little in the numbers as far as prescription opioids go, with a decrease in numbers in comparison to the US as a whole, heroin use actually appears to be rising and California is seeing more fatal overdoses every single day.


Connecting Statistics to Treatment

  • Alcohol use disorder: 10.64%
  • Substance Use Disorder 14.97%


According to the National Survey, almost 11% of Californians reported having Alcohol Use Disorder and an astounding 15% reported having Substance Use Disorder. Those numbers are seem impossibly high. But even more devastating is the fact that the majority of those people who report struggling with an addiction do not seek treatment or for some reason are unable to attain it.


  • Need treatment for illicit drug use disorder but didn’t receive it:  7.41%
  • Needed treatment for alcohol use disorder but didn’t receive it: 11.17%


The above statistics are hard to read. Almost 8% of those addicted to illicit substances such as heroin, cocaine, prescriptions, etc didn’t receive the treatment they desperately needed. Of those who needed treatment for alcohol use disorder, it is reported that more than 11% of the addicts did not receive treatment necessary for recovery. Those numbers do not bode well for the hope of reducing overdose fatalities or the horrific effects left behind by a community marred by addiction.


The consequences of this lack of treatment can be many, but one of the consequences to untreated drug and alcohol abuse can also be one of the causes. The count of people in california who have reported suicidal ideation is almost 9%. Mental health always plays into addiction, and suicidal thoughts can both buoy the addiction and also be a result of it.

  • Thoughts of suicide: 8.54%


California Drug Treatment


One thing that everyone can agree on is that treatment is the only chance of recovery for an addict. One mustn’t try to detox alone, so a user should start the process with medically supervised drug detoxification. Rehabilitation can come in many forms in California. Some prefer an outpatient rehab, though many doctors and specialists recommend that a long term inpatient rehab is more useful for someone with addiction. The consistency in treatment and environment, with the separation from the outside stressors of the world, lead to a fertile foundation for recovery. After treatment is also important as the risk of relapse is high without continued therapy. Many treatment centers also encourage membership within a 12 step program. Some people prefer to look for out of state rehab facilities to go through the detox, rehab, aftercare steps of treatment. Some find that leaving the environment of the state helps them even further to let go of their addiction and resist triggers and cravings.


Regardless of in-state or out-of-state treatment being a patient’s preference Aspire Health Network offers affordable rehab and quality service with the best licensed qualified staff at your side through every step of the recovery process. Call us today to find out more about our programs.