Ukiah is well-known all across the area for being the county seat and largest city of Mendocino County, in the state of California, in the United States of America. With its very prime and accessible location (along the U.S. Route 101 corridor several miles south of CA 20) Ukiah serves now as the city center for Mendocino County and much of neighboring Lake County too. The Ukiah Valley is a center of a major wine production industry too, which has been a major contributing factor in the economic success of the city in general. In the year of 1996 for example, Ukiah was ranked as the #1 best small town to live in in California and the sixth-best place to live in the entire United States.  The population was 16,075 at the 2010 census as reported by the United States Census Bureau.

Ukiah is practically infamous for wine production. The Ukiah vicinity is now the home to some very large production and massive wineries, including Brutocao, Fife, Parducci, Frey, and Bonterra. Ukiah vintners are known for innovating with organic and sustainable practices and for being the, “new age” of wine making.

Ukiah was previously a major producer of pears too. Alex R Thomas & Company owned hundreds of acres of Bartlett pear orchards on the east side of the Ukiah Valley for decades. For nearly 90 years, many local residents and migrant workers have been employed packing the pears for domestic and foreign consumption alike. On December 1, 2008 though, the company announced it would be shutting down major operations at the end of the year, sadly enough.  On the bright side though, several hundreds of acres of orchard have been torn down and replaced with vineyards since the packing shed closed its doors, which actually ended up boosting the local economy to being higher than it was before when the pear business was even at its strongest.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Sadly, substance is to a degree to be expected in a city that has wine as its major economic focal point.  Sure enough, substance abuse is pretty serious here, but not just because of the wine.  In fact there are a lot of reasons why substance abuse is a major problem in Ukiah, wine being one of them, and also the fact that a large percentage of the population is on prescription drugs and has become addicted to their prescription drugs is another one too.  If nothing is done to correct these issues and to correct them soon, then it is feared that the problem really will just take over sooner or later.

Heroin and Ukiah: A Vicious Cycle

There has been a lot of talk back and forth about heroin abuse and addiction in Ukiah, and rightly so because there is indeed a major heroin epidemic occurring not only in this city but all across the state for that matter.  This is an issue that has been steadily worsening beyond repair for years now, with the effects of it becoming more pronounced and more severe with each passing month.

For some data on heroin so its use and abuse can be more easily spotted:

• Heroin is usually smoked, snorted or injected, with that being the increasing order of severity of abuse too.  Depending on the method of administration of the drug, you could find remnants of the drugs or the paraphernalia of the drug use left behind in your home or elsewhere. Heroin itself may appear as a powdery or crumbly substance, ranging all the way from off-white to dark brown and anything in between. Black tar heroin is nearly black and is sticky instead of powdery, and that is a completely different type of heroin.

• You might find syringes or small glass or metal pipes around your home or on the person of a friend or loved one if you suspect that a loved one is abusing heroin. A person dissolving the drug and injecting it might also leave dirty spoons and lighters around too, as it is quite messy. A person injecting also needs some device to cause the veins to enlarge, so there may be belts or rubber tubing found in the area where he or she is using the heroin as well.

• The user will often get a dry mouth and his or her skin will flush quite a bit as well. The user’s pupils will be constricted to a degree. He will feel heavy and dopey and may fade in and out of wakefulness and may just seem off in general. Heroin users may nod off suddenly even if it totally inappropriate for the situation that they are in. Breathing will be slowed, which is how an overdose kills too.

• When awake, the person’s thinking will be unclear. They will tend to lose some of their memory. Their decision-making and self-control are likely to deteriorate.

• Other signs of heroin use to be on the lookout for are itching, nausea, and vomiting. Another sign of heroin use is the constipation often suffered by opiate users and abusers. The regular user of this drug may look for laxatives too. They may experience skin infections of some type, or other kinds of infections too, and a lowered immunity to illness in general.

If you notice any of this around you, it’s time to send the person in question off to rehab.  Heroin kills and it kills fast, so it is imperative to get the person’s willingness to go to rehab, to find a good program, and to send them to it before things get out of control.  With inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, rehab programs, detox facilities, and recovery organizations heroin addiction can be completely eradicated in any person for good.

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