Visalia is a city situated in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley of California, approximately 230 miles southeast of San Francisco, 190 miles north of Los Angeles, and 36 miles west of Sequoia National Park. The population of the city ranked in at 124,442 as of the 2010 census as reported by the United States Census Bureau. Visalia is actually the 5th largest city in the San Joaquin Valley after Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton and Modesto, the 44th most populous in California, and 198th most populous in all of the United States.
As the county seat of Tulare County, Visalia serves as the economic and governmental center to one of the most productive single agricultural counties in the entire country, and the city is known for this all across the state of California.
The economy of Visalia is of course essentially driven by agriculture, (especially that of grapes, olives, cotton, citrus, and nursery products), livestock, and distribution and manufacturing facilities (electronics and paper products are a couple of significant manufacturing sectors). Light manufacturing and industrial/commercial distribution represent the fastest growing portion of Visalia's employer base as well, and the city is expected to transition even more into that area.
According to the Visalia Economic Development Corporation, the top ten employers in the city are, in descending order, Tulare County, Kaweah Delta Medical Center, College of the Sequoias, Family Healthcare Network, the City of Visalia, VF, International Paper, Jostens, Cigna, and Visalia Medical Clinic.
Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse: A Cruel Fate for Many of the Residents of Visalia
It goes without saying that, just as is the case with many other cities in California, Visalia has begun to experience significant increases in drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and substance abuse in general amongst its residents. Substance abuse is not only a major issue in California right now, but it is also a major issue all across the nation for that matter too. However, Visalia’s problem has been unique in that the city has begun to struggle almost equally with multiple different drugs and alcohol whereas most cities find themselves in an abuse epidemic with just one type of drug or substance.
For Visalia, and particularly for the youth of this city, the problem has erupted the most in the last few years. This city had has little issues with drug addiction and alcohol abuse before that, but now the problem is there and it is very real and very serious. Addiction statistics in multiple different areas have been climbing from accidental overdoses to crime rates, to car accidents, to thefts and harassment to sheer numbers of those in the city who are abusing drugs and alcohol.
Facts and Statistics on the Issue: Real Data on Alcohol Abuse and Drug Abuse in Visalia
To better understand the issue in Visalia, it is best to examine facts and statistics as they relate to the drug problem in not only California, but all across the nation as well. The key here is to understand the severe reality of how bad the drug problem in the United State as a whole really is so that one can see why it is so important that preventative measures, solutions, and rehabilitation be applied on a much more involved and serious level so that the issues can be corrected.
Listed below are several such facts and statistics, included here so as to provide the reader with context as it pertains to drug and alcohol abuse in the United States today:
• Alcoholism is a big deal in Visalia right now. Not only is alcohol abuse dangerous and potentially fatal for alcoholics, it’s also costly to society at large too. Recent surveys indicate that non-alcoholic members of families with an alcoholic in their midst use ten times as much sick leave as families without alcoholics. Additionally, 80% of these family members report an impaired ability to perform at work as a result of having to live with an alcohol abuser or alcoholic. Finally, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are the leading preventable cause of birth defects in the U.S., affecting as many as 40,000 babies per year and costing more than $5.4 billion each and every year.
• Drunk driving is also a major issue in Visalia and all across California for that matter, contributing to more than forty percent of all traffic deaths and more than eighty percent of all traffic arrests. Drinking and driving is a dangerous, costly problem in the Unites States as a whole too. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, (MADD), 10,839 people will die in drunk driving crashes, (one every 50 minutes), this year. In addition, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash every single minute.
• Drunk driving costs each adult in the United States almost $500 per year in additions to income taxes that come about from all of the expenses that the U.S. government has to dole out to take care of drunk drivers.
• An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before his or her first arrest, and one in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.
• 50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license.
• Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and one out of three of those is alcohol related. Also, kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol-related crash.
Rehabilitation: The Solution for Alcohol Abuse and Drug Addiction in Visalia
Though the situation is very serious and often deadly, (particularly with alcohol abuse), in Visalia, the issue can be corrected and it must be corrected if the city is to hope to have a better future, particularly for its youth. The solution to addiction has always been and will always be in a course through an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse treatment facility and rehab program. These types of programs are essentially vital because they act to really cure those who are even the most heavily addicted and afflicted. Freedom exists for the addicted residents of Visalia, and it exists in a course through an inpatient rehab program.