Substance Abuse

Rates of Substance Abuse in Orange County California

In Orange County, the problem with opioid and alcohol addiction has not vanished. Because of the over-prescription of opiates and the copious amounts of fentanyl flooding the streets, the rates of substance abuse in orange county are skyrocketing. Many will not understand the extent of this situation simply because it is not publicized in media today. To help you understand why this is such a serious issue, here are the rates of substance abuse in Orange County.

Orange County Healthcare Agency

Before we get into any rates of substance abuse, it is important to know where we are retrieving our figures from. In 2012, the Orange County Healthcare Agency, or OCHA for short, conducted a survey of alcohol and other drug use prevalence in orange county. The report shows that:

  • Between 2011 and 2015, opioids caused 7 out of 10 deaths by overdose.
  • 81% of overdoses were to non-Hispanic whites.
  • Orange County citizens aged between 45 and 54 had the highest rates of overdose.
  • Overdose death likelihoods are higher for men than women in Orange County.
  • Women were more likely to overdose on prescription drugs.


In the US, the most commonly used substances are alcohol and tobacco. In California, around six percent of adults have an alcohol use disorder. Forty-seven percent of orange county adults have reported consuming alcohol in a prior month to when the survey was conducted. 

As well, many reports suggest that by the 11th grade, half of Californians have tried alcohol. Drug and alcohol overdoses, or poisonings, resulted in over 5,500 hospitalizations and nearly 700 deaths among Orange County residents each year.


According to the OCHA, Orange County has some of the lowest rates of death from an opioid overdose. However, there are some disparities that are not shared with the rest of the country.

  • Males are twice as likely to die from an opioid-related overdose as females.
  • Emergency departments along the coast and in the south of Orange County have a higher rate of deaths and visits as a result of opioids.
  • Rates of opioid use in Orange County have remained steady between 2011 and 2015, although ED visits have doubled since 2005.

It should be evident by now that the rates of substance abuse in orange county are still a plague on the population. This is both due to the ignorant media and the continual prescription of opioids for pain relief. If you or someone you know in Orange County needs a residential treatment program, reach out to Chapman Rehab for more information. We will be happy to speak about the services and programs we provide!


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