About the City of Los Banos and All That it Entails

Los Banos is a lovely city in Merced County, in central California. It is located in the San Joaquin Valley, near the junction of State Route 152 and Interstate 5.

The population of this city was 35,972 at the 2010 census as reported by the United States Census Bureau, up from 25,869 at the 2000 census. The city is served by Los Banos Municipal Airport for air transport access too.

Los Banos has a long history of Portuguese and Spanish immigrants going back centuries, as do many of the nearby towns on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. This is reflected both in local restaurants and in several festivals and parades that take place during the year too. There is also a significant community of Basques. Los Banos is locally known for its annual May Day Fair during the first week of May as well.

Since the 1980s in fact, the city’s population has changed with a continuing influx of people who work in the San Jose/Silicon Valley area but seek more affordable housing and slower pace of semi-rural life, a pattern seen in many other small towns within commuting distance of Silicon Valley.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction and Rehabilitation on the Rise in Los Banos

Sadly, there has been a big increase in drug and alcohol abuse not only here but also all across the entire nation too.  For example:

• In the year of 1996 alone, it was estimated that 25% of people in the U.S. smoke cigarettes, this number being at its highest ever in decades.  Smoking is responsible for nearly a half million deaths each and every single year.  Tobacco use and abuse costs the U.S. an estimated $100 billion a year, mainly in health care costs from such abuses.  As a result of tobacco abuse and addiction, in 1992, the total economic cost of alcohol abuse was estimated at $150 billion in the U.S.

School related statistics look something like this:

• A full 5.2% of 8th graders report they have used Marijuana, (1 in 6).
• Sadly, 13% of 9th graders report they have tried prescription painkillers to get high, (1 in 7 actually).
• A full no less than 26.7% of 10th graders reported using Marijuana, (1 in 4).
• A total of 17% of HS juniors report using prescription painkillers to get high, (1 in 6 to be exact).
• More than 35.8% of HS seniors report using Marijuana, (1 in 3 all in all).
• No less than 21% of HS seniors report using prescription painkillers to get high, (1 in 5 essentially).
• 1 in 9 HS Seniors report using “synthetic marijuana”, (K2 or Spice) in the past 12 months alone.
• Over sixty percent overall of teens said drugs were sold, used, or kept at their school.

• The United States used to be the number one importer of narcotics. It still is but now this country by itself generates a lot of illegal drugs. There are hundreds of thousands of meth labs all across the nation, the DEA finds more and more heroin production facilities every year, and more marijuana fields are found every year too. Local production of illegal substances is becoming a real issue and needs to be prevented. If it is not stopped then drugs will just still become more and more available, particularly for young adults, and addiction will spread as a result of it.

Rehabilitation Sought as a Solution for Addiction

For some time now drug and alcohol abuse and addiction has been an incredibly concerning issue in and around Los Banos.  The problem has been quite serious, especially with the young adult population of the city.  When parents are confronting the prospect of addressing substance abuse with their children, one of the biggest barriers they run up against right away is how to find out without any doubts or reservations whatsoever if their young adult children are indeed abusing drugs or drinking or not.  To help with this, some signs and symptoms of substance abuse have been included below:

Physical warning signs of drug abuse:

• Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual
• Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
• Sudden weight loss or weight gain
• Deterioration of physical appearance, personal grooming habits
• Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing
• Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination

Behavioral signs of drug abuse:

• Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
• Unexplained need for money or financial problems; may borrow or steal to get it
• Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
• Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
• Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities)

Psychological warning signs of drug abuse:

• Unexplained change in personality or attitude
• Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
• Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
• Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
• Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason

When several of these signs and symptoms are noticed then there is a good chance that one has a substance abusing or addicted young adult on his or her hands.  If this is the case, then it is time to start looking into rehabilitation techniques and options.  With rehab, it is quite possible to actually beat and win against addiction and substance abuse once and for all, but inpatient rehabilitation just be applied and utilized and with zeal too.

Los Banos has certainly fallen on hard times lately when it comes to addiction, but this dismal condition does not have to continue.  With rehabilitation, hope does exist even for the most heavily afflicted and addicted.

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