Bakersfield is a highly populated city in Southern California, United States near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley in well-known Kern County. The city is 110 mi north of Los Angeles and about the same distance south of Fresno. It is an inland city about 135 mi due east of Pismo Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Bakersfield’s population is around 375,000, making it the 9th largest city in California and the 52nd largest city in the entire country of the United States. The city is also the county seat for Kern County, which encompasses the entire local MSA and is the third largest county in California by geographical land area. The total Bakersfield inner urban area, which includes East Bakersfield and Rosedale, has a population of about 464,000.
Even though Bakersfield is in Kern County which is generally considered part of Southern California and shares its southern border with Los Angeles County, many residents consider Bakersfield to be far more a part of Central California as it is near Kings and Tulare counties and is a hub for agriculture and oil production in those areas and its own area as well. In 2010, the metropolitan area had a population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in United States.
Bakersfield has a very diverse and very successful economy. Kern County is the most productive oil producing county, and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the entire United States. Other industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate/regional headquarters as well.
Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse in Bakersfield: A New and Very Serious Issue
Drug addiction has hit hard amongst the residents of Bakersfield, California. Although this is a huge city, much of the city is surrounded by farmland, ideal locations for meth labs. Meth labs in Bakersfield have begun to compete with Mexican meth labs, making Bakersfield one of the top meth abuse cities in the entire United States. Without a doubt, meth is the most commonly abused drug in Bakersfield, and the overall abuse of the drug in general has increased almost ten fold in the last twenty years. If something is not done soon about this problem the residents of Bakersfield could be well on the verge of experiencing a full on meth addiction epidemic.
Facts and Statistics: Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse Making Waves All Across California
To better understand the crisis in Bakersfield and all across the state of California, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (NIAAA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), and the State of California’s own Department of Health all worked together to study and analyze the growing drug problem in this state. Listed below are just a few of their findings included here so as to provide the reader with context as to exactly just how serious of a drug problem is occurring in Bakersfield and in California:
• Sixty-two percent of teens in California foster care prescribed psychiatric drugs over the past decade have been given the heavily sedating antipsychotics, which can cause obesity, diabetes and uncontrollable tremors.
• In the year 2014, more than 4,000 foster youth were prescribed antipsychotics. Although the new policy applies to all children on Medi-Cal, foster youth are given the drugs at far higher rates than children living with low-income parents. This is a terrible situation.
• Statistics show that prescription drug abuse is such a problem in Bakersfield that it’s now the number-one reason for emergency room visits and one of the leading causes of death. Of the 8,265 drug-related deaths between 2000 and 2009, approximately 61% were caused by prescription or over-the-counter drugs, according to the Department of Public Health.
• It was found that in Bakersfield, drug overdose is the third-leading cause of injury death and premature death.
Rehabilitation Sought as A Saving grace for Those Sorely Addicted in Bakersfield
For those addicted to drugs in Bakersfield, particularly for those addicted to meth or to prescription drugs, the best chance at achieving a full lifetime of recovery and sobriety lie in a course through an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and detoxification treatment center, rehab program, and behavioral addressment facility. Only inpatient centers have what it takes to help those addicted in Bakersfield because only inpatient rehab centers possess the necessary tools, training, techniques, facilities, staff, therapies, counseling methods, relapse prevention, aftercare, coping strategies, detox techniques, group activities, electives, outdoor actives, safeties, securities, and medical staff necessary to effectively and efficiently assist those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol to a point in which they simply are no longer addicted at all and for good
Those who are addicted in Bakersfield can and must achieve sobriety. The city is on the verge of an addiction collapse, but if everyone who is addicted in the city pulls through and goes to an inpatient rehab program, the city will finally be able to find itself free and clean from drug addiction amongst its residents.