Sonoma is a very historically significant and important city in the beautiful Sonoma Valley, in Sonoma County, in the state of California, in the United States of America.  Today, Sonoma is probably best known for being the absolute center of the state’s wine industry for the Sonoma Valley AVA Appellation, as well as the home of the Sonoma International Film Festival too, both of which attracts immense amounts of tourism to the city.  In the actual city itself, Sonoma has a population of 10,648 as of the 2010 census, while the Sonoma urban area had a population of 32,678 all in all.

The town itself of Sonoma boasts a quiet, quant, peaceful, and very aesthetic setting.  The city has California State Route 12 Fifth Street West, and Spain Street being the primary methods of travel through and around the city.  The city has both historic districts and modern retail and shopping areas.  There is something for almost everyone in this small, California wine and culture town.

Sonoma is historically famous for a lot of different things.  For example, the city is considered to be the actual birthplace of wine-making in all of California.  This dates back to the original vineyards of Mission San Francisco Solano, with improvements made by Agoston Haraszthy, the father of California viticulture and credited with introduction of the Zinfandel/Primitivo grape varietal to name just one of his feats. That’s not all though, the Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival takes place late each September in this city, and is California’s oldest celebration of its winemaking heritage by far. The city has also kept its demographic very pure too.  Many of the residents of Sonoma are third- or fourth-generation Italian-Americans, Portuguese-Americans, Spanish-Americans, and French-Americans, descendants of immigrants who came to the area to work in wine-making.  Much of the youth grows up to foster families of their own and, rather than traveling away, stay in the area to work in the family trade of wine-making.

Drug Addiction and Alcohol Abuse in the Wine Capital of the Nation

Of course, it comes as no surprise that a city that has wine as its focal point of interest and its main source of income would also have higher than average drug and alcohol addiction problems and substance abuse problems in general.  Though this is a nice, wealthy, upper class and pleasant city, that has not afforded the city any kind of escape from the virtual terrors of drug and alcohol addiction that it is now experiencing.  Part of the problem of course has nothing to do with the city itself, rather just has to do with the fact that substance abuse problems have been spreading ever outwards from the bigger cities and metro areas and into the smaller towns and more rural areas.  Sonoma has been one such town that has been hit by this change.

To be more specific, the biggest problem in Sonoma has been with young adult alcohol abuse and addiction.  This nation’s youth are becoming addicted to alcohol more and more each year.  In 2014 for example, from a nationwide basis an estimated 679,000 adolescents of the age of twelve to seventeen (ranking in at about 2.7 percent of this age group) had an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).  This number includes 367,000 females all together (3.0 percent of females in this age group) and 311,000 males (2.5 percent of males in this age group).  A huge percentage of Sonoma youth has such a disorder too.   Again we have a condition where the vast majority of those who are addicted to alcohol do not get the help that they so desperately need either, which is true in Sonoma and across the nation.  Only an estimated about 55,000 adolescents (18,000 males and 37,000 females all in all) received treatment for an alcohol problem in a specialized facility in the year of 2014, which is not nearly enough.

Correcting the Crisis in Sonoma with Rehab

Substance abuse has for some time now been a real problem in Sonoma.  Sadly, this is a small town with a big town’s drug problem.  The issue here is that drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse in general has been spreading outwards from the big cities in California, outwards and into small towns and small cities like Sonoma.  The trouble is a very real one and it has only recently begun to get actually recognized in Sonoma.  Now more than ever these issues are actually being seen as the problems are really starting to manifest themselves as actual crisis issues.

In the last few years, there have been more car accidents, drunk driving, DUIs, bar fights, overdoses, drug thefts, drug accidents, and general drug and alcohol problems in Sonoma than in the last three decades combined.  The fact of the matter is that these issues and these problems are so bad now that the city has been declared to be in an unofficial “hush hush” state of emergency until local law enforcement does something about the problem.

Therein lies some of the issues though.  It’s not just up to the law enforcement to do something about this.  The fact of the matter and the brutal truth is that if nothing is done about drug and alcohol addiction from the perspective of actually addressing the addicts themselves then the problem truly won’t resolve.  This is why Sonoma needs to now more than ever focus intently on rehabilitation.  Sonoma needs to go big or go home.  The addiction crisis here is out of this world.  To really handle the issue and to handle it permanently, Sonoma needs to focus on getting all who are addicted in this area into and through inpatient rehab programs and centers.  If this is done then the city and the area in general will finally know peace and solitude from drug and alcohol addiction.

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