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Substance use

Substance use disorders ― the repeated misuse of alcohol and/or drugs ―  contribute to costly social, physical, mental, and public health problems and have a major impact on individuals, families, and communities.

ALCOHOL AND DRUG USE

According to the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), in 2021 the rate of binge drinking was higher in SLO County than the state average. Binge drinking is the consumption of five or more drinks in a row by men, or four or more drinks in a row by women.

25.3%

of adults age 21 and older reported binge drinking in the past month in SLO County
18.1%

of adults age 21 and older reported binge drinking in the past month in CA
Alcohol and Drug use, 11th Graders

Current alcohol and drug use among 11th graders has generally been on the decline since the 2013-2015 California Healthy Kids Survey. However, more youths from San Luis Obispo report using substances in the past 30 days than the state average.

Source: California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). California Dept. of Education. Pulled from calschls.org.

Current VAPING, 11th Graders

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable and premature death in the U.S.  Tobacco use or smoking in any form—including e-cigarettes—is unsafe and causes cumulative, irreversible harm.

According to the California Healthy Kids Survey, in 2019-2021, 16% of 11th grade respondents in SLO County used vape products in the last 30 days. The use of vape products has been higher than the state average.

Source: California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). California Dept. of Education. Pulled from calschls.org

Opioid Use

The majority of overdose deaths involve opioids. Deaths involving synthetic opioids (largely illicitly made fentanyl) combined with heroin or stimulants (such as cocaine and methamphetamine) have increased nationwide in recent years. Drug overdoses in the state have continued to rise and now kill more than twice as many people as car accidents, more than four times as many as homicides, and more than either diabetes or lung cancer.

opioid-Related Deaths, slo cOUNTY
Source: California Department of Public Health. California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard.
opioid-Related ED VISITS Per 100,000 pEOPLE, slo cOUNTY VS. ca
Source: California Department of Public Health. California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard. Data shows Quarter 2 12-Month Rolling Rates.

Emergency department visits caused by non-fatal acute poisonings due to the effects of all opioid drugs, regardless of intent (e.g., suicide, unintentional, or undetermined). Emergency department visits related to late effects, adverse effects, and chronic poisonings due to the effects of drugs (e.g., damage to organs from long-term drug use) are excluded from this indicator. 
overdose deaths higher than the state

While overdose deaths have increased across CA in recent years, SLO County's opioid death rate remains higher than the state average.

Opioid Maps.PNG
Source: California Department of Public Health. Age-adjusted rate per 100,000 residents. California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard. 2021.

Life-saving naloxone (Narcan™), the “overdose reversal drug,” is a non-addictive prescription medication that kicks opioids off the brain’s receptors so a person can begin breathing again. It has no effect if opioids are absent. More first responders are now trained in and carry naloxone and naloxone is also more widely available to the public than ever before. The Opioid Safety Coalition provides a resource page with information on where SLO County residents can access free naloxone.

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