Imperial is a pleasant and peaceful city in Imperial County, in the state of California, in the United States of America. Imperial is located just four miles north of the city of El Centro.  As of the 2010 census as reported by the United States Census Bureau, the city had a population of 14,758 all in all.

This city has done a lot to boost its economy recently and become more successful in general.  Nearby recreation facilities have effectively transformed the desert into a popular Valley tourist destination due to the overall high availability of activities. Three year-round golf courses are within minutes of Imperial and are rated very highly. The sand dunes provide a place for campers and dune buggy enthusiasts too. This region is well known for its abundance of bird species such as dove, quail, ducks, pheasant and geese, which also attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Substance Abuse Hits the Area

Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction has become a major issue in the nation, and has maintained itself as a major problem in Imperial too, even though the city is not that large in terms of population.  In fact, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction has been an increasingly serious problem in California as a whole for some time now.  For example:

• The overall rate of current marijuana use among youths of the age of 12 to 17 in 2013 in the state of California (7.1 percent) was about similar to the 2012 rate (7.2 percent) and the rates in 2004 to 2010 (ranging from 6.7 to 7.6 percent); however, it was lower than the rates in 2002, 2003, and 2011 (ranging from 7.9 to 8.2 percent).

• Among youths of the age of 12 to 17 in California, the rate of current non-medical use of prescription-type drugs of one kind or another declined from 4.0 percent in 2002 and 2003 to 2.2 percent in 2013. Then, in 2014 and 2015 and in 2016, youth abuse of pills in climbing to over 7.0 percent.

• The rate of the non-medical pain reliever use among youths in California also declined from 3.2 percent in 2002 and 2003 to 1.7 percent in 2013 and then jumped to over 4.0 percent in 2014.  The rate of overall current use of illicit drugs among young adults aged 18 to 25 in 2013 (21.5 percent) was similar to the rates in 2009 to 2012 (ranging from 21.3 to 21.6 percent), which was actually consistent with the steady rate of current marijuana use in this age group during this time (19.1 percent in the year of 2013 and ranging from 18.2 to 19.0 percent in 2009 to 2012).

Substance Abuse and Bringing it to an End in Imperial

Drug and alcohol abuse in general has been creating terrible effects on the residents of Imperial.  For years now this area has been struggling with increasing drug and alcohol abuse issues.  This all started in 2008 when the most recent economic recession began.  Since then, substance abuse has been growing more and more prevalent in the average American, middle class, mid-sized town.  The result has been a concerning one to say the least, and the overall effect of it could potentially worsen too if something is not done about it.

Before anyone can do anything about addiction though, one needs to be able to first recognize it.  This is step one.  There is a big difference between occasionally smoking some weed, from popping a pill or two here or there during a moment of physical pain or mental duress, and from drinking from time to time and actual addiction.  Some of the signs are:

1. Taking an initial large dose to get going more quickly is common for real drug addicts.  This is also very common with alcohol abusers too. The individual might gulp drinks down in order to get drunk and then feel good, or they might pop three times as many pills as they should.

2. Having problems with the law is another very likely indicator.  This is more a characteristic of some drug and alcohol addictions.  This may be because the person’s substance abuse impairs his or her judgment or the individual takes risks that they would not take if they were sober.  Or perhaps the came across legal crisis because of a crime they committed in order to get hold of the substance.

3. Financial difficulties come up all the time for true addicts.  For example, if the substance is expensive the addicted individual may sacrifice a lot to make sure its supply is secured for him or her, even if it means seriously impairing other cost-sensitive areas of his or her life.

4. Relationship problems are a clear sign too.  These are more common in drug/alcohol addiction.  Regular people come across relationship problems and issues all of the time, but a true addict will without a doubt experience serious and severe issues along this line too.

For drug and alcohol addicts in Imperial, the only way to address addiction is with inpatient rehabilitation.  Rehabilitation is effective and particularly useful when it is applied in the form of an inpatient, residential facility, not an outpatient one.  Rehabilitation is needed now more so than ever in Imperial, and once it is instituted then those who live there will have a much easier time of living when the city is addiction-free.