What California Cities are the Hardest-Hit by Opioid Deaths?


In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, nearly 2000 California residents died after overdosing on opioid drugs. This tragic trend reflects what is going on right now elsewhere in the United States. The ongoing opioid epidemic has been called the “worst public health crisis in American history.”

The ability to pinpoint exactly which parts of the state are experiencing the highest opioid death rates is an invaluable tool that can help authorities decide where to concentrate prevention and treatment efforts and allocate limited state resources.

To that end, here are the 21 cities/zip codes in California that  suffered the worst rates of fatal opioid poisonings:

(per 100,000 residents)

  1. 95550 (Korbel, Humboldt County): 545.84, population 147
  2. 96117 (Litchfield, Lassen County): 212.76, pop. 195
  3. 95565 (Scotia, Humboldt County): 161.48, pop. 850
  4. 95968 (Palermo, Butte County): 158.85, pop. 5382
  5. 91962 (Pine Valley, San Diego County): 142.98, pop. 1510
  6. 96044 (Hornbrook, Siskiyou County): 127.84, pop. 248
  7. 95979 (Lodoga, Colusa County): 112.28, pop. 197
  8. 95468 (Point Area, Mendocino County): 110.75, pop. 449
  9. 95310 (Columbia, Tuolumne County): 107.29, pop. 2297
  10. 92059 (Pala, San Diego County): 92.26, pop. 1820
  11. 96128 (Standish, Lassen County): 84.95, pop. 758
  12. 96062 (Millville, Shasta County): 84.63, pop. 727
  13. 95464 (Laytonville, Mendocino County): 83.04, pop. 1227
  14. 95977 (Smartville, Yuba County): 81.42, pop. 177
  15. 95528 (Carlotta, Humboldt County): 77.37, pop. 1273
  16. 95415 (Boonville, Mendocino County ): 76.2, pop. 1035
  17. 95501 (Eureka, Humboldt County): 73.32, pop. 27,226
  18. 92661 (Newport Beach, Orange County): 72.89, pop. 86,688
  19. 95685 (Sutter Creek, Amador County):68.56, pop. 2501
  20. 95469 (Potter Valley, Mendocino County): 65.3, pop. 646
  21. 93240 (Bakersfied, Kern County): 65.21, pop. 365,000

While most of these towns are in the North, Central and Southern California also have zip codes with opioid overdose death rates that have reached crisis levels. This highlights the fact that opioid abuse in California is not a just a geographic problem, it is an availability problem. That conclusion is supported by the number of small communities that are being impacted.

A Scarcity of Opioid Treatment Options

Most experts in the addiction recovery field  agree that Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), a strategy utilizing both psychosocial counseling and FDA-approved medications, provides struggling addicts with their best chance at successfully and safely recovering their long-term sobriety. Unfortunately, however, MAT simply isn’t a realistic option in some areas.

In Korbel, for example, where the opioid death rate is the highest in the state,  there are no MAT facilities nearby. In fact, the closest rehab program offering MAT is over 150 miles away. This is a one-way commute of more than THREE HOURS. This underscores the need for expanded treatment options EVERYWHERE.

This is why Chapman House drug rehab in Orange County should be your most-trusted resource for addiction recovery. Since 1978, Chapman  House has provided premier evidence-based treatment for addictive and co-occurring mental disorders. If you or someone you care about is dependent on or addicted to opioid painkillers or illicit drugs, the expert staff at Chapman House can help.


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