Opioid, methamphetamine epidemic in Kern County

Posted at 6:27 PM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 21:27:57-04

Opioid abuse and addiction is still a big issue here in the United States.

In Kern County, there is not only have an opioid epidemic, but also methamphetamine addictions are the number one issue.

U.s. National Poison Data System records show that three Americans every minute call the Poison Control Center because they made a medication error.

Four out of 10 mistakes involved painkillers, hormone therapy prescriptions or heart medication.

However, in Kern County there is a bigger case of methamphetamine addiction over opioid.

The opioid addiction problem is certainly still an epidemic here in Kern County, however, it is not to the level that it is in the east coast. What we see primarily here is we have a higher rate of issues with methamphetamine than we do with the opioid problem,” said Elizabeth Bailey a Substance Use division supervisor for Kern Behavioral Health Services.

According to the Kern Behavioral Health Services, meth is the number one issue in Kern County.

Meth is easily accessible it is also quite inexpensive whereas pills and heroine and stuff is much more expensive so we don’t generally see that, Bailey said.

The epidemic is being addressed through the drug medi-cal waiver as well as an expansion of adolescent services.


“We have a number of initiatives and projects, one being Kern Stop Meth Now has worked with providing prescription drop boxes in all corners of Kern County, there will be 10 placed throughout the county this fall,” Bailey said.