Oakdale is a pleasant and small, very localized city in the San Joaquin Valley and Stanislaus County, in the state of California, in the United States of America. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area too, as it acts as an outlying town to Modesto.

Oakdale goes by the infamous slogan “Cowboy Capital of the World.” The population was 20,675 at the 2010 census as reported by the United States Census Bureau, up from 15,503 at the more recent 2000 census.

The Oakdale economy centers on agriculture, food manufacturing, and tourism too, with all three of these factors playing a significant role in not only the economic growth of the success of the city but also in the growth and overall success of the city in general and of the population too.

Oakdale as far as its history goes was initially well known for being the home to the Oakdale Hershey Plant, a satellite plant of Hershey Chocolate, that closed in January of 2008 and moved to Mexico. It originally opened in May of 1965, and for a while it also operated the Hershey’s Oakdale Visitor Center and Shop in town, and employed about 575 local people. The plant was then purchased by Sconza Candy Company, which began production in October of 2008 and is still producing today.

Many other large and important food manufacturing operations are nearby too including a ConAgra Foods Hunt’s plant which is one of the largest tomato processing plants in the entire world. Cattle ranching is common in the surrounding areas too, adding to the diversity and impressive character of the local economy.  On top of that tourism is a big source of income here too, creating a powerful and strong micro-economy for this small but affluent town.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Reigns Happiness In

Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse in general have become pretty serious and saddening issues across the Modesto area.  One of the cities that has been the most affected by this has been Oakdale.  This city has suffered a lot with substance abuse problems as various drug dealing groups and trafficking organizations all across the state of California that used to be based in more metropolitan areas began to expand outwards and into other smaller, wealthier cities like Laguna Beach, Blythe, Oakdale, and others.  For some statistics on general substance abuse as it currently is in California:

• Deaths from substance abuse are occurring at a much higher rate than ever before. Studies now show that roughly 145 to 190 American residents die every day as a result of drug and alcohol abuse and the activities that go along with those types of abuses. This is pretty staggering and it’s very safe to say that the United States has one of the worst overdose death rates per capita in the world.  This is a big problem in California and it has begun to affect Oakdale too, as this state sees the most deaths of them all.

• There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are a growing problem to say the least. This is an issue that only worsens more and more as the years go by. For example, in 2002 there were about fourteen to fifteen thousand drug and alcohol addicts in the entire country. Now there are close to twenty-five million. The problem here is that drug and alcohol use had been getting more popular and more widely accepted to the point where more and more Americans are doing these substances now than ever before.  The problem grows daily in California and in Oakdale specifically.

Rehabilitation Sought in Oakdale

Drug and alcohol addiction affect a large number of people in Oakdale, and Oakdale has been suffering from above average addiction problems and issues for some time now.  These are issues that have manifested themselves in different ways all across the nation, but Oakdale has experienced them in much more serious ways than other cities have.  Why is this?

1. For one, Oakdale has a large young adult population, and the young adult demographic is by far the most likely to abuse drugs and alcohol in the nation.

2. Furthermore, Oakdale also rests by itself to a degree, and it acts as an ideal staging site for the trafficking of narcotics into this part of the state as it is.

Those two factors alone tend to make for higher than normal substance abuse statistics on a per capita basis in Oakdale than would be found in other cities of similar sizes.

What can be done about this issue?  Easily the best way to handle it is first with prevention.  For Oakdale specifically, this would involve a project on the behalf of law enforcement to try and get drugs out of the area by ramping up prevention tactics and drug busts and drug task force divisions.

Once the drug trafficking presence has been removed from this city and the surrounding areas, then the next logical step would be to provide rehabilitation to those in this area who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.  The sad truth is that drug addicts will find a way no matter what to get drugs into their area one way or another, no matter how strong prevention is.  In doing so, the preventative measures will have all been for naught unless the local addicts in Oakdale actually do get rehabilitated.  By putting these individuals through rehabilitation centers and programs this threat is actively and strongly reduced.  With effective detoxification and rehabilitation, the drug problem in Oakdale can finally be brought down by quite a bit.

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