The opioid crisis has not gripped California in the same way it has other states. Overdose deaths peaked in 2009 and have since dropped 15 percent, according to health officials. Still, nearly 4,100 people were hospitalized for overdoses in the state last year. Nearly 2,000 people died. There remain several hot spots of addiction, mostly in rural counties.
In addition, deaths from heroin, often a cheaper alternative for those whose addiction begins with costly pills, have risen 57 percent since 2012, according to the state.
Overdose death rates in some rural counties remain high. Humboldt County was at the top of the list, with 136,000 people and 33 deaths. Shasta County lost 16 of its 179,000 people to opioid overdoses.
Shasta County has California’s highest rate of babies born addicted to drugs, including opioids.