Dinuba is a small, pleasant, and peaceful little city in Tulare County, in the state of California, in the United States of America. The population of this town was 21,453 at the 2010 census as reported by the United States Census Bureau. Dinuba is currently a part of the Visalia Metropolitan Statistical Area and it plays a key role in that area. The infamous and frequently visited Alta District Museum is located in Dinuba in an old, restored railroad station.  The museum has a large collection of materials to illustrate local history and California history alike.

The city’s motto in Dinuba is, “Together, a better community”.  When one visits Dinuba it is evident that there is a strong partnership between the City of Dinuba and the Dinuba Chamber of Commerce and all other governing and organizing bodies in the city.  For example, several times throughout the year the City, Chamber, and local businesses partner together and work together to create fun and safe community events for local residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.5 square miles, all in all, one-hundred percent of its land. The general topography is quite level ground in this area, at an elevation of approximately 345 feet above sea level.  The gradient in this area is approximately ten feet per mile, so there is some grade, but not much.  There are some, small, pleasant hills to the northeast side of Dinuba with some elevations achieving heights of 526 feet that locals and visitors alike enjoy climbing and hiking on.

Dinuba has a relatively poor economic presence for a Californian city of this size.  The median income for a household in the city was $33,345 altogether, and the median income for a family was $33,769. Males had a median income of $23,663 versus $25,364 for females. The per capita income for the city was actually $11,566. About 31.1% of families and 26.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.1% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those ages 65 or over too.

Dinuba is essentially a middle class to lower-middle class city, and few of the residents are very financially affluent.  However, employment rates are high, and it is not that expensive to live here.  The city is the home to the well-known food company Ruiz Foods and the production facility of the popular juice company Odwalla. There is also a Best Buy distribution center which sits on the western edge of the town that employs lots of residents. Many new businesses have been made around the Wal-Mart shopping center such as Burger King, Panda Express, IHOP, Starbucks, and Baskin-Robbins too.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

There is definitely a drug problem on the rise in Dinuba.  This is simply a mirror image of the drug problem that is also occurring all across the nation too, and especially in California.  Dinuba is not a wealthy town by any means at all, so they cannot afford much in the names of illegal substances, but many of the town’s youth has become addicted to cheap drugs trafficked up from Mexico.

This is exactly what happens when a nation begins to experience a more severe drug problem.  First, the poorer towns are targeted first to establish foot hold, then the more wealthy ones are targeted.  This is to say that drug abuse strikes its first blow with the middle class, the lower-middle class, and the poverty class youth of the nation, and from there it spreads and takes hold in the upper-middle class and the upper classes.

For some general data on drug abuse not only in California but all across the nation too:

• Drug use in America has increased a lot from 2012 to 2015. In 2012, 20.0% of Americans of the age of 12 or older had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication in the past month alone. By 2015, that number had increased to 25%, (an increase of over 10 million Americans).

• The above increase is mostly attributable to the increase in marijuana use, which is now the nation’s number one gateway drug.  For example, in 2007, about six percent of Americans used marijuana in the past month alone, and by 2012, the number of past-month marijuana users rose by 4.5 million people to about eight percent.

• The use of other illicit drugs remained stable over the same period though, suggesting a shift in cultural perspective towards marijuana when compared to other harder and more dangerous substances.

• Other nationwide trends that are similar to these ones include increased use by people 50 years or older, (more than doubling from 2002-2012).  Sadly, it would seem that young adults and senior citizens are the ones that are currently the most at risk for having substance abuse problems of one kind or another.

Rehabilitation

For Dinuba, the best chance that this small town has, of course, is to put their addicted fellows into and through inpatient, residential, drug, and alcohol addiction rehabilitation programs.  With such programs, those who are addicted can actually become sober and they can begin a new life as recovered and freed individuals.

This is easier said than done, but the problem indeed does need to be handled at some point, and that point is honestly long overdue.  It will take some time, but once everyone who is addicted to Dinuba has been rehabilitated, then the city will benefit greatly from it and grow from it.