Santa Clarita, officially called the “City of Santa Clarita”, is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, in the state of California, in the United States. The city is also the eighteenth largest in the entire state of California. The city has annexed a number of unincorporated areas too, contributing to the large population increase that has been seen in the city in more recent years. Santa Clarita is located about 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and it occupies most of the Santa Clarita Valley. Santa Clarita is a notable example of a U.S. edge city or “boomburb” as it were. Santa Clarita was ranked by Money magazine in 2006 as 18th of the top 100 places to live in the United States.
As for its history, Santa Clarita was incorporated into an actual city in December 1987 as the union of several previously existing communities, including Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia, all of which are situated on the land of the former Rancho San Francisco. Santa Clarita is bounded on the west by the Golden State Freeway, (the I-5). The Antelope Valley Freeway, (the SR-14), runs northeast-southwest through an irregular east border, and the Newhall Pass is the city's southernmost point.
Santa Clarita is often associated with the infamous Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park, though the park is located just outside the city limits, and the California Institute of the Arts, (CalArts), is located in the nearby city of Valencia.
Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse: A Cruel, Surprising Fate for the Residents of Santa Clarita
Drug addiction has in many ways taken over in the city of Santa Clarita. This is a middle class to upper middle class city that has had little to do with addiction in the past. Now however, the city has suffered considerably in this area and field. Drugs, mainly heroin and prescription drugs, have begun to impact the residents of the city quite severely, particularly the youth of the city. To highlight the issue, a Councilman of the city recently spoke on the drug addiction crisis that has begun to affect the youth of Santa Clarita in more recent years:
“No one wants to admit that an affluent community with high academic standards, a city in the top-10 safest communities in the U.S., a place where a lot of parents are well-educated and high achievers, has this problem,” he said. “You go into denial as a community. The reality is that affluence and our kids’ ability makes our community a desirable place for drug dealers to sell.”
This is certainly a severe and major problem that the city is facing. Drugs have been coming into the city from Los Angeles and some have even come up directly from Mexico. Since young adults are far more likely to become addicted to drugs than older adults are, and because young adults are also much more likely to die from drug abuse than older adults are, it is imperative that this situation be remedied as quickly as is possible.
Facts and Statistics Outlining the Troubling Drug Addiction Crisis in Santa Clarita
To better understand the drug problem in Santa Clarita, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA), worked together closely with the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, NSDUH), the Trust for American Health, (TAH), and California’s own Department of Health and Human Services to study and examine this problem as best as possible. The idea here was to understand the crisis first off so that preventative measures and solutions could be arrived at. Listed below are just some of the statistics found, included here so as to provide the reader with context as to just how serious of an issue this really is:
• In 2011, six people in the Santa Clarita area died from heroin overdoses according to reports released by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
• The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), reported that the average age of the first-time heroin user is 21, and the first time average age of the abuse of prescription drugs is 18.
• As for how the drugs are getting into Santa Clarita, officials have identified the Sylmar area as the last stop for heroin before it makes its way into the Santa Clarita Valley according to the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station Drug Unit.
• According to the latest numbers, heroin use has become a big problem nationwide, as well as in the Santa Clarita Valley. Last year for example, there were 100 arrests and there have been nine overdose deaths since the end of 2009. The Signal also reports that approximately 400 residents have suffered non-fatal overdoses in the past year and a half.
• There has been a common misconception that has caused untold worries and sadness in the U.S. While many are of the opinion that drug abuse is a problem for the poor, lazy or desolate, statistics show that abuse of certain drugs is increasing among unlikely demographics like non-urban dwellers. Per WebMD, the “typical heroin user is a middle-class suburban dweller who started off with prescription painkillers, a new study reports.”
Rehabilitation: What Santa Clarita Residents are Doing to Combat Drug Addiction
Rehabilitation, Specifically that of inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment centers, rehabilitation facilities, detox programs, and recovery organizations still stand to this day as by far the most successful and prominent approaches to beating addiction once and for all and permanently. This is the key to Santa Clarita’s quest to sobriety and overall happiness and recovery. Inpatient rehab centers off excellent detox programs so that patients can effectively beat chemical addiction. Inpatient rehab centers also have powerful rehabilitation structures that include counseling and therapy as well as life skills and coping strategies, all of which are necessary for winning against the mental and spiritual aspects of drug addiction and substance abuse. It is now being strongly recommended for all addicted residents of Santa Clarita to seek out inpatient rehab as soon as possible so that the city can begin to grow again.