Calipatria, formerly known as Date City, is a pleasant enough city in Imperial County, in the state of California. Calipatria is located about 23 miles north of El Centro, and it is part of the El Centro Metropolitan Area too, though it is considered a rural town. The population was 7,710 at the 2010 census as reported by the United States Census Bureau, up from 7,289 at the 2000 census, including about 4000 inmates at Calipatria State Prison. The community is located along State Route 111, and that is the main source of traffic in and out of the city.

Calipatria is actually one of the state’s poorest cities in income per capita due to agricultural paychecks and a declined economy in the 1990s that brought on immense hardship here. Hispanics mostly of Mexican descent are three-fourths of the people (excluding the multiracial body of state prison convicts of course). The city was first called Sante Patria (as in “Saint of the Motherland”) and was founded by Irish American and Irish Mexican soldiers, who deserted both in the Mexican–American War (the 1850’s) and from the Union and/or Confederate armies after the American Civil War (1860’s).  The city has a very interesting past, and now Calipatria also has a large Arab population from Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, many of whom are descendants of agriculture laborers in the 1920s.  All in all, this is a very poor farming town that in a lot of ways has been forgotten and has missed California’s big revitalization efforts of recent years.

There is some tourism coming into Calipatria now, which is encouraging.  Salvation Mountain is a notable tourist attraction in the north of Calipatria, near Slab City. Salvation Mountain is a small hill which is entirely covered in thousands of gallons of acrylic paint, straw, concrete, adobe, making for a landmark. It was created by Leonard Knight to convey the message that “God Loves Everyone”. Salvation Mountain was featured in the book Into the Wild and also in the 2007 movie of the same name too. The video for Fourth of July by Shooter Jennings is partially set at Salvation Mountain as well.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the Area

As is the won’t of a poor town, drug and alcohol abuse is quite common in Calipatria.  This is a city that has struggled economically for some time now with no sign of things improving anytime soon.  Sadly, a lot of small towns not only in California but all across the United States for that matter are suffering with addiction problems.  These are problems like:

• In 2014, 23.5 million Americans aged 12 or older met the criteria for a substance use disorder, (or addiction) in the previous year.  That number jumped to almost twenty-five million the next year.  California is one of the most concerning states for drug abuse and addiction on sheer prevalence alone.

• In 2013, 22.7 million Americans needed treatment for a substance use disorder of one kind or another, almost 9% of the population over the age of 12 to be exact. Only about 2.5 million received such treatment at a specialty facility, though.  It is estimated that more than 41% of treatment admissions that year were for alcohol abuse, 20% of admissions were for opiate addiction treatment, and 17% were for the treatment of marijuana abuse too.  In California, 11% of the population needs treatment, not 9% like the national average.

• Perhaps the most concerning aspect of drug and alcohol addiction today has been with the increase in substance abuse amongst general, working-class Americans and middle-class men and women. In recent years the middle class has begun to get targeted for drug dealing and drug pushing, in general, a lot more than they ever were, and the result has been a strong percentage of this nation’s working, middle-class being addicted to drugs and alcohol. The middle class drives the life force of the nation, so having a heavy percentage of them addicted to drugs and alcohol is quite concerning for the future of the nation as well as for their own lives personally.  Middle-class cities in California have suffered the most from increases in substance abuse issues.

Effecting Rehabilitation to Counter Addiction Problems

Drug and alcohol addiction has made a big impact in California, and it is time that it stopped.  The best way to stop a drug and alcohol addiction problem is with inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, detox facilities, rehab programs, and recovery organizations.  These by far are the best of the best when it comes to actually eradicating addiction in a person and in a city too.

The key to beating addiction in a town is to simply rehabilitate all who are addicted in that town.  Therein alone lies the answer.  If there are no addicts in a city then there will be no desire and no demand for drugs in that city.  Plus, the recovered addicts will work to help other gets clean and the effect will snowball to complete eradication of addiction.  Rehab is the answer to the problem in Calipatria, and those who live there need to effect it sooner rather than later.