Riverbank is a pleasant and comfortable city in Stanislaus County, in the state of California, in the United States of America. The population of the city was 22,678 at the 2010 census as reported by the United States Census Bureau, up from 15,826 residents at the 2000 census. Incorporated as it was on August 23, 1922, Riverbank’s official slogan is “The City of Action.” It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area too, and it plays a significant role in the community efforts in this area.

As for its history, Riverbank was originally founded as a ferry crossing, but was established as a town with the coming of the Santa Fe Railroad.  In fact, in the 1850s, the Riverbank area was known as Burneyville. Major James Burney, sheriff of Mariposa, established the Burneyville Ferry over the Stanislaus River at the site of what is now the modern bridge in Riverbank.  So even though the city was only relatively recently incorporated in 1922, there has been a community of individuals living there for quite a long time.

Riverbank’s downtown was remodeled in the year of 2009 to make it more palatable and interesting to tourists.  New attractions in this area now include a downtown plaza with a mural and statue of a cable ferry operator, a throwback to the city’s history.

Riverbank has a lot of historic buildings in the downtown district, and The Riverbank Branch Library on Santa Fe Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Each and every year during the second weekend of October, the annual Cheese & Wine Exposition is held for all who are interested and intrigued by the large selection of cheeses and wines that are up for grabs there. The two-day event features wine and cheese tasting, carnival games, and arts and crafts booths too.  Lots of vendors come to this event too to sell things other than cheeses and wines, such as different ethnic foods, gifts, and trinkets. The Expo draws thousands of people from surrounding towns and agricultural areas alike, and some even travel from all across the state to go to it.

Riverbank is small but the city has made a name for itself in the state as a place of interest and attraction.  The city has grown a lot in the last few years, partially because of how much work the city has done on restoring and remodeling its downtown and making the overall look of the city far more appealing to new families.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drug and alcohol addiction has finally made a strong appearance in Riverbank, as it has in so many different areas all across the nation.  This is a city that has never really had a problem with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction before, but now it definitely does.  This city was safe from substance abuse for a long time but as the population began to boom and grow and as local interest and attraction brought a lot of interest into other sectors that attracted even more residents, so did interest grow in the small town from big city drug trafficking groups.

In California for the last several years there has been a big push from drug dealers and traffickers to extend their operations out into other outlying towns and cities.  The aim has been to spread drugs into smaller, more residential cities that potentially had more money per capita than the bigger, more populous cities did.  The ambition was to expand into smaller cities and have not as many, “clients”, per se in those cities but to actually make more money per client.  The plan has been working, as every city in California from small towns of only ten or twenty-thousand people all the way up to bigger cities of hundreds of thousands of people have in their own way been suffering from drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

For Riverbank, the key difficulty here has been with stimulants, hallucinogens, and synthetic drugs, and the demographic that is most concerning is the youth population of the city.   These drugs are making big problems all across the country too. For example:

• There were over 20,000 ecstasy-related emergency room visits in 2011.
• There were over 1.8 million Americans 12 or older who used a hallucinogen or inhalant for the first time, (1.1 million among hallucinogens).
• 22.7 million people (as of 2007) have reported using LSD in their lifetime.
• There are approximately 5,000 LSD-related emergency room visits per year.
• Nearly 300,000 Americans received treatment for hallucinogens in 2011.
• Between 2002 and 2006, over a half million of teens aged 12 to 17 had used inhalants.
• There were over 190,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. in 2008 due to inhalant poisoning.

Rehabilitation Needed

Riverbank needs rehab more than it needs anything else.  With effective and rather immediate rehabilitation, Riverbank can finally approach its drug and alcohol abuse and addiction problem from a very positive and very action-oriented standpoint.  This is needed now more so than ever before for Riverbank.  The city is suffering with pretty bad drug problem, and the city has never really had to deal with this before, so it is rather new to the experience and a little unsure of how to proceed.

With the help of rehabilitation though, this will soon be a problem that is no longer extant.  It is a serious issue to say the least and it has been that way for a while, but with the help of rehabilitation it will dissipate.

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