The Inland Empire is the desert area to the east of Los Angeles, with numerous cities like Rialto, California, scattered throughout it. Rialto is actually part of San Bernardino County and is home to almost 103,000 residents.1 Unfortunately, many of the people living in Rialto and surrounding cities in the county have an addiction to heroin.
Nationwide, rates of heroin addiction are going up as the entire country grapples with growing opioid abuse.1 For many years, California did not see a spike in heroin abuse, although the state struggled with prescription narcotics addiction and overdose. However, the number of people being admitted to emergency rooms in the San Bernardino County area for heroin increased by 28% since 2010. There were 76 heroin-related admissions in 2010, which rose to 131 in 2015; however, that number dipped to 98 in 2016.2
The county experienced a surge in heroin-related overdoses among people 30-39 years old, seeing an increase in ER admissions of 26 to 41 between 2014 and 2015.2 In the state of California overall, heroin overdose deaths have increased by 67% since 2006.3
Heroin is very addictive, and its resurgence could be due, in part, to looser regulations around prescription opioid painkillers. It is important to expand evidence-based treatment that focuses on easing people off opioids and getting them into therapy to address the issues underlying the abuse.
There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time.