Los Angeles often referred to by its initials, L.A., is the second most populated city in the United States and the largest in California. Los Angeles is one of the biggest economic, tourist and cultural centers in the U.S. if not the world. To give you some idea of how big LA really is, the LA five-county area has the world’s 11th largest economy in gross domestic product, ahead of the Netherlands, South Korea, and Mexico. As a manufacturing center LA ranks second in the country, only behind Chicago, and ahead of Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis. On the basis of population alone, Los Angeles County would be the ninth largest state in the United States.
Just like other major metropolitan areas around the world, LA has its share of problems related to drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. According to the County of Los Angeles Substance Abuse Prevention and Control factsheet (http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc/FactSheet/AlcoholFactSheet.pdf) published in October 2010, the estimated annual economic impact of alcohol use in Los Angeles County is $10.8 billion. This cost includes: Illness ($5.4 billion), Traffic (DUI; $2.0 billion), Other Injury ($1.0 billion), and Crime ($2.4 billion). In 2007, there were 203,866 DUI arrests in California. In 2007, there were 42,736 DUI arrests in Los Angeles County alone. In 2008, there were 258 alcohol-involved fatal collisions in Los Angeles County and 4,832 alcohol-involved injury collisions.
In terms of drug-related problems for LA County, drug overdose, including unintentional alcohol poisoning, is the fourth leading cause of premature death in Los Angeles County and the 17th leading cause of death overall. It is the fourth leading cause of pre-mature death among men (15,446 deaths) and the seventh leading cause of premature death among women (5,495 deaths) in Los Angeles. Drug offenses account for the highest percentage of overall felony arrests in Los Angeles County. In 2008, there were 40,928 felony arrests for drug offenses and 34,312 misdemeanor drug arrests.
Fortunately the Los Angeles area also has a myriad of drug rehabilitation and alcohol treatment options for those seeking professional assistance with drug or alcohol problems. According to the national directory of drug and alcohol resources provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association or SAMHSA (http://dasis3.samhsa.gov/), there is a total of 429 drug and alcohol rehab programs in Los Angeles County. In the SAMHSA directory, LA County has 83 drug and alcohol detoxification centers, 41 methadone maintenance programs, 40 methadone detox centers, 53 halfway house facilities, 44 that use buprenorphine in treatment, 332 outpatient treatment programs, 82 programs that offer partial hospitalization, 64 residential short-term treatment centers, 134 residential long-term treatment centers, and 10 programs that provide hospital inpatient services.
Furthermore of those drug rehabs and treatment programs in the Los Angeles area, many provide specialized drug and alcohol treatment services for those with special needs. According to the SAMHSA directory, 161 facilities provide treatment services for adolescents, 168 programs for those with dual-diagnosis disorders, 86 programs for persons with HIV/AIDS, 66 facilities specifically designed for gays and lesbians, 69 facilities for seniors and older adults, 104 that provide services for pregnant or postpartum women, 153 facilities services exclusively for women, 24 facilities that provide residential beds for clients’ children, 127 facilities that provide rehab services specifically for men, 35 programs for DUI offenders, and 143 programs for criminal justice clients.