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What can be said about California? In a word, there are no words. Home is defined by something unique and special within every square mile. From the mildness of the Pacific coast to the glistening sands of the dry, airy desert, one thing is for sure—California is a magnificent state. When it is evident that a member of the community is struggling with addiction, it takes a team of dedicated people to rectify their comrade’s path. Palm Partners Detox and Rehab believes in treating our patients with respect, encouragement and an effective, tailored program for long lasting recovery.

Data shows that those 18-25 particularly need – and aren’t receiving – drug detox and rehab in California. Those 26 and older are in the same situation for alcohol detox and rehab.If you’re using and abusing drugs or alcohol, call Palm Partners Addiction Detox and Rehab now for immediate help: 424-644-6517. Get into the right facility and transform your life. Our professionals are standing by, 24/7.

What you should know

San Diego and Imperial Counties are a principal transshipment zone for a variety of drugs – cocaine, heroin, marijuana and meth – smuggled from Mexico. However, meth and marijuana are also locally produced or cultivated in large quantities.

The northern half of California is awash in meth, particularly the rural areas. In other parts of the state, heroin remains the number one abused drug in San Francisco, heroin and crack cocaine continue to impact Oakland and meth use continues in and around Sacramento.

Heightened security measures are deterring airport trafficking. But that has led to smuggling through underground tunnels at the border and more sophisticated hidden compartments in vehicles.

Compared to other states

  • Illicit drugs overall – moderately high for those 18 and older
  • Marijuana – moderately high for those 18 and older
  • Cocaine – moderately high for those 26 and older, average for those 18-25
  • Alcohol – moderately high for those 26 and older, moderately low for those 18-25
  • Pharmaceuticals – average for those 26 and older, low for those 18-25

Source: SAMHSA’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, based on 2008-2009 annual averages. SAMHSA is the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A Closer Look


Primary drug threat. Mexican organizations continue to dominate production and distribution of high-quality meth, although small, unsophisticated laboratories also produce large quantities.

Local meth labs are everywhere, from high-density residential neighborhoods to remote desert locations in the south and forested areas in the north. In recent years, as the number of meth labs seized in California has decreased, the number of meth labs just south of the border in Mexico has increased.


Most widely available and abused. Large quantities of low-grade marijuana are smuggled into the state from Mexico. Highly potent Canadian marijuana, known as BC Bud, is also smuggled into the state. Potent domestic marijuana is cultivated in sophisticated indoor, hydroponic gardens throughout the state.

In California, prescriptions are legitimately written to alleviate chronic injury pain or illness.


Readily available throughout state. Los Angeles is one of the nation’s largest cocaine transshipment and distribution centers, but the drug also is widely available in San Francisco and elsewhere in northern California.

In Los Angeles and San Diego, gangs dominate street distribution of crack cocaine. The Los Angeles gangs “rock” or convert cocaine into crack and then sell it locally or distribute it to other cities in the area and nationally.


A significant threat.

Club drugs

Ecstasy decreasing in use. Though it was once considered the most popular club drug in the state among teens and young adults, Ecstasy has moved into schools, malls and residences.

One reason: law enforcement has targeted rave promoters in the San Diego County area.

Compton, near Los Angeles, is still a primary source of PCP throughout the U.S, and street gangs continue to control both production and distribution. LSD is in ample supply in the Los Angeles area, because of the number of LSD labs that have been operating in remote areas of northern California since the 1960s. Internet sales of GHB and GBL persist.


High purity an increasing threat. Because high-purity heroin that can be snorted is increasingly available, a new, younger population is using the drug without a syringe and needle, ingesting large amounts and becoming quickly addicted.

Mexican black tar heroin is available throughout the state; Mexican brown tar heroin to a lesser extent. Some heroin trafficking is from Southeast and Southwest Asia and Colombia.


Various sources. Within walking distance across the border in Tijuana and other Mexican towns, border “pharmacies” are a major source in San Diego. However, doctor shopping and prescription forgery are the sources in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

OxyContin, Vicodin, benzodiazepines and carisoprodol are the most commonly abused drugs in northern California. Vicodin, Xanax, codeine, Valium, OxyContin and Promethazine with codeine cough syrup are the principal drugs in Los Angeles. Vicodin, VicodinES, Lortab and Vicoprofen and anabolic steroids are the drugs of choice in San Diego.

Percentage of California population using/abusing drugs

AGE1 18+
Past Month Illicit Drug Use2 9.00
Past Year Marijuana Use 11.02
Past Month Marijuana Use 6.52
Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana2 3.91
Past Year Cocaine Use 2.52
Past Year Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use 5.20
Perception of Great Risk of Smoking Marijuana Once a Month3 38.05
Past Month Alcohol Use 53.74
Past Month Binge Alcohol Use4 23.00
Perception of Great Risk of Drinking Five or More Drinks Once or Twice a Week3 46.00
Illicit Drug Dependence2 1.88
Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse2 2.50
Alcohol Dependence 4.11
Alcohol Dependence or Abuse 8.48
Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse2 9.71
Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use2,6 2.37
Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use6 8.08
Serious psychological distress 9.81
Having at least one major depressive episode7 6.39

1 Age group is based on a respondent’s age at the time of the interview, not his or her age at first use.

2 Illicit Drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.

3 When the Perception of Great Risk in using marijuana or alcohol is low, use of marijuana or alcohol is high.

4 Binge Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.

5 Dependence or abuse is based on definitions found in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

6 Needing But Not Receiving Treatment refers to respondents needing treatment for illicit drugs or alcohol, but not receiving treatment at a specialty facility.

7 Major Depressive Episode is a period of at least 2 weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had a majority of the symptoms for depression as described in the DSM-IV.

Source: Condensed version of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2004 and 2005, from SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies.

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