DALY CITY, CALIFORNIA
Daly City, with an estimated current population of just under 110,000, is the largest city in California’s San Mateo County. Perhaps best known historically as the epicenter of Northern California’s calamitous 1906 earthquake, which spread fires throughout the San Francisco region, Daly City is today particularly notable for its architecture, and its neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods in Daly City include St. Francis Heights, Westlake, Serramonte, Top of the Hill, Crocker, Hillside, Bayshore, and Southern Hills, each with its own unique personality.
The racial makeup of Daly City is the following: 55.6% Asian, 23.6% Caucasian, 3.6% African American, .8% Pacific Islander, and .4% Native American. 11.1% is listed as “Other Races,” and 4.9% is listed as “Two or More Races.” 23.7% is listed as “Hispanic or Latino of Any Race.
Most cultural and sporting activity, such as events presented at the Cow Palace arena, take place on the city’s border of San Francisco. Due to its lower-cost shopping, cheaper parking and lower tax rates, however, Daly City is a favored place for San Francisco residents to visit for goods and services.
Daly City, primarily due to its proximity to downtown San Francisco, is considered a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and eligible for federal funds in its ongoing battles against drug abuse. Among the most important of the city’s positive aspects in this regard, is the Daly City Parks and Recreation Department, which has been serving the city’s youth since 1934. The Department offers nearly 300 classes yearly, and sponsors athletic leagues for all ages, as well as various non-athletic teen services such as education, special events, and more.
Nearly a century ago, Daly City authorities recognized the importance of involving young people and their families in various recreational events, as methods to not only perpetuate strong family units, but also to offer more positive activities for the local community, afar from nearby salacious temptations.
As Daly City is possessed of a moderate population as compared with much of the rest of the country, its drug statistics can appear misleadingly low. For this reason, we will break down the numbers via percentages, in as much as we can.
DRUG ABUSE STATISTICS
As San Francisco’s widespread drug issues have spilled into the entirety of Northern California, it should not be unexpected that the nearby Daly City is affected, and similar in certain circumstances when it comes to the following statistics:
- Alcohol and pot admissions are most frequent among males and females under 25 years of age.
- Local politics continue to conflict with evolving federal laws as it regards the legalization of marijuana. Pot continues to be produced both indoors and outdoors, in widespread efforts to take advantage of the medical marijuana accessibility. Exploitation of pot laws are expected to remain an ongoing issue for the immediate future, as misuse among addicts and casual users is frequent.
- San Francisco is considered one of the most problematic HITDA strongholds in the country. Due to its accessibility of transit, a growing issue appears to be the traveling to the smaller Daly City to consummate drug deals.
- In 2016, nearly 25% of total Daly City drug treatment admissions were related to methamphetamine. The rest broke down as follows: 11% alcohol, 4% heroin, 4% cocaine, 3% pot, 5% other drugs, and the rest a mix of one or more drugs. By the end of 2017, these admissions lessened by an average of nearly 10% across the board, with the exception of prescription opioids, or painkillers, which increased over 10%.
- Similar to San Francisco (and Los Angeles) and endemic in the state of California, some traffickers have turned towards pseudoephedrine diversion and sales. Reason behind the pivot is the ingredient’s federal illegality (the Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005), since banned from over-the-counter cold medications which used to be readily available.
- Also alongside Los Angeles, and also San Francisco, ecstasy (and similar party drugs) are ongoing issues. Known as the original “love drug,” the hallucinogenic stimulant – a synthesized MDMA compound – was regularly prescribed by psychiatrists in the 1970s-1980s for patients suffering from emotional or psychological difficulties. The drug is not as popular for traffickers as pot or meth, though it continues to be a concern.
- Crystal meth is readily available in Daly City. The existence of Internet listings identifying prime buying locations, regardless of the likelihood that such listings are plants, underscores a potentially larger problem: the portending of a drug issue that has yet to catch up with other opioid-related abuses.
- 35% of all car crash deaths in Daly City, just under the national average, are alcohol-related. 32% of drinkers participate in binge-drinking.
- Asian patients comprise the majority of hospital admissions for those seeking help with substance abuse, at 40% (across the board substance abuse). Caucasians follow with 25% of all such admissions (primarily opioids, pot and alcohol), Hispanics with 21.5% (primarily opioids, pot and alcohol), and all other ethnic groups 8.6%.
- Accidental drug poisoning, typically from pain-killers, is the most common cause of drug- and alcohol-related deaths, at nearly half.
DRUG ABUSE AND CRIME
To elucidate Daly’s City’s ongoing drug issues, recent headlines are telling: Daly City Shooting Leads to Arrests for Drugs, Weapons and Child Endangerment; Joint Investigation Between DEA, SFPD Leads to More than a Dozen Daly City Arrests; 5 Arrests In Jail Drug Smuggling Case; Four Men Arrested in Daly City After Shots Fired: Police Confiscate Several Hundreds of Dollars in Cash, Two Guns, and an Unspecified Amount of Drugs; Law Enforcement Nets Dozens of Suspects on Drug and Gun Charges in Sweeping Sting.
Though Daly City is relatively quiet as compared with other California cities, its share of issues remain.
As with California proper, the city’s drug-related crimes can be defined as:
- Possession, regardless of for personal use, or intent to sell, traffic, distribute, or manufacture.
- Conspiracy regarding any of the above.
Within the state, the four major types of drug charges are:
- Possession for personal use: This is considered a felony for most controlled substances. Misdemeanor charges include marijuana possession, being under the influence, or possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Possession for sale: This is a felony. Proof of actual sale is not required, and money does not need to be exchanged. Intent can be proven due to evidence such as drug packaging, the presence of scales, cutting agents and visitors to your place of business at all hours.
- Drug trafficking is a felony, unless less than 28.5 grams of marijuana is transported, in which case the crime is considered a misdemeanor.
- Manufacturing is a felony.
Punishments include imprisonment, seizure of property as part of forfeiture proceedings, loss of driver’s license and more. Prior criminal records are frequently considered; a second offense for possession may net a minimum three-year enhancement to the sentence for the offense itself.
California laws for alternative sentencing include the following:
- Under Proposition 36, the three year enhancement – and the original sentence – can be altered in the event of a non-violent offense for “simple drug possession.” This includes one year of an intensive treatment program.
- Deferred Entry of Judgement (“Diversion”): The defendant pleads guilty, but is not convicted. In this event, the case is put on hold for 18 months, during which time said defendant must enroll in a six-month drug education course, and not be charged with another related crime thereafter. After 18 months, the felony is erased.
- A supervision and treatment program, offered in phases. Once completed, the case is dismissed and removed from the defendant’s record.
To determine the extent and nature of one’s addiction, pre-intake questions may include the following:
- “How long have you been using?”
- “Do you believe you have a problem?”
- “Do you think others who know you believe you have a substance-related problem?”
- “Have others confronted you with questions related to substance abuse?” “Do you ever use alone?”
- “Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking one particular drug was the problem?”
- “Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?”
- “Have you ever been in a jail, a hospital, or a drug rehabilitation center because of your using?”
You can find pre-intake sample applications online. In this case, as with any other self-diagnostic tool, the questions as asked are exploratory only. You must speak to a trained and licensed professional for any true diagnosis. Still, such online tools such as a pre-intake questionnaire can be extremely useful. If you can honestly answer those questions, you may be validated, or you may dislike your responses. If you were drawn to the tool, likely both will apply. Regardless, consider your results, and then take necessary action
There are pros and cons with online resources such as these, particularly when it comes to completely basing your treatment decisions on your own responses. That would be a negative, as remember, such questions are guidelines only without a trained professional to analyze your answers. Regardless of whether such questions are based on true-life examples of treatment center queries (they usually are), you may not be the best arbiter of your responses. Most especially if you are under the influence of any drug, or alcoholic drink. On the positive side, if you can be truthful with your answers, such online questions will certainly provide a glimpse into your condition, and the need for help.
Many addicts, or users with a problem whose usage is not yet defined as an addiction, make the mistake of not taking the first step towards sobriety as it regards intake. If you need help in making an informed decision as to what treatment method is right for you, we cannot encourage you strongly enough to, again, speak to family and/or friends who have been there before. Sometimes, a user has a difficult time making such decisions with a clear head.
And once more, if you know of no one who has been through these issues before, please contact one of the centers as listed on this page
Also, we encourage you to ask yourself a few questions:
- 1) What is holding you back from getting help?
- 2) Do you believe you have a support system? If so, do you feel comfortable contacting them and speaking about your problem? If not, would you feel more comfortable contacting a professional?
- And 3) Do you believe you are capable of making an informed decision as to your treatment? If yes, you are well-advised to take advantage of one or more of the resources here. If no, you are strongly advised to contact one of the phone numbers listed here, and discuss your reservations
Again, they are there to help.
During the intake application process, you will be required to list your prescription medications and days and times taken (if “none,” you check “none”), an authorization of medical care, a list of allergies or other medical issues, and a waiver of responsibility. Some applications ask more. A physician or treatment center representative will then review your application for the proper steps, and treatment.
The concept and practice of detox is typically broken down into three distinct phases: Evaluation, Stabilization, and Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab.
Evaluation: As overseen by a doctor, who will determine what drugs are presently being used, how long has the patient been using, and how much and how frequently the patient uses.
Stabilization: As expounded on the site, stabilization differs patient to patient, based on specific substance being abused. This is the end result of the withdrawal phase
Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab: Many addicts believe that once they complete withdrawal, they are finished with their treatment. That is a dangerous belief, as withdrawal only releases the immediate physical hold of the substance.
Communication is key. Some users are resistant to treatment, most especially when in a treatment center against their will. In this instance, your communication with your specialists will be at risk. Remember, they are there to help you. You have the freedom to ask questions, and the right to receive answers.
That is one of the benefits of treatment, a better understanding of your illness.
INPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Inpatient treatment is frequently misunderstood, as there are several options available to the user under that umbrella title. Many people believe the term to refer to only hospital treatment. Or, only highly-restrictive treatment. In reality, it is neither.
Inpatient treatment can either be PHP (a partial hospitalization providing a highly-structured environment, with typically active treatment of 30 hours per week), the less-intensive IOP (intensive outpatient treatment plan, which requires up to three hours daily over 3-5 days, for a total of nine hours weekly; therapy is usually included, but the patient can live either at their own home or a halfway house during the process), and an RTC (residential).
Though you may be the best determinant of the degree of inpatient recovery resources best suited to your needs, frequently one may need the help of family or friends to help you more clearly identify the treatment options that are most prudent for your needs. From there, only your personal commitment will determine your success.
PHPs and RTCs are amazing resources for those with more severe or difficult abuse issues. Both options are highly-structured, especially the former. The importance of structure cannot be understated. You will have a time for medicinal treatment, a time for personal or group therapy, a time to rest, a time for activities …
Frequently, a user has little structure outside of the treatment center. The user is more interested in the high than by scheduling their day via their clock. The structure of PHP treatment, particularly, may be a challenge for some. But, if you allow the treatment to take its course, the end-result can exceed your most optimistic hopes.
So ask yourself: “Do I do well in a structured environment?” “Am I functional in a structured environment, or will I have a better chance to succeed with something less restrictive? As ever, a user if not always the best determinant as to treatment. If a user is high while making the decision, that will be in no one’s best interests. It’s time to commit, with as free a sense of mindfulness as possible.
OUTPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Outpatient treatment is a comprehensive approach to wellness, and no less impactful than inpatient services. Please research the importance of outpatient treatment resources on The Recover, or speak to loved ones who have been through the process. Recovery is an ongoing process, which requires a substantive lifestyle change to avoid the ever-present threat of a relapse.
Outpatient treatment allows the patient a certain level of responsibility to remain clean while outside of the treatment center. You will face temptations but will have also learned specific strategies as to how to deal with them. It is up to you to take advantage of those lessons. There is a certain degree of trust on the part of the outpatient treatment administrators that the user will remain clean, and at the same time outpatient treatment allows for the user to remain productive on the outside while still receiving help. If you work, you can schedule your outpatient appointments or check-ins after hours.
One very important point, though, under this or any treatment circumstance: The entirely of your treatment is a commitment. Outpatient or not, if you miss one appointment you will likely miss another.
That is a recipe for failure. What you allow, you encourage.
Remember this as you move forward in your treatment. There are countless reasons why one would fail, in this or any other environment. Laziness, rigidity, intimidation.
But … there are fewer reasons to succeed: Yourself, first of all, then your loved ones (your collective of family and friends). Which means more to you? The pain of the commitment to get well, or the pleasure of using? If you answer the latter question as your affirmative, consider those loved ones who care about you, and worry about you.
On that note, let us elaborate upon the concept of commitment for a moment. Some users resent the term, thinking many of those who do not use, or who are not otherwise plagued by addiction, tend to believe commitment is that much easier than it truly is. How can a user commit to anything at all, one may ask, much less treatment if said user is overwhelmed by their addiction?
It is very difficult. Really, it is. But you can do this. You can reclaim your life, as none of us are defined by our addictions.
AFTERCARE AND SOBER LIVING RESOURCES
Sober living may be the final step in your formal treatment plan before returning home, but treatment never really ends. Sober living houses provide the interim environment between rehab and mainstreaming back to your natural environment. The reason for the initial formation of sober houses was simple: a person in recovery frequently needed a safe and supportive place to stay, during the vulnerability of early recovery, prior to returning home.
Sober houses are also highly-structured, and most residents are referred to a sober living environment from a rehab center. Requirements and rules are strict, and they usually include:
No drugs or alcohol on the premises; No violence; No overnight or sleepover guests, not even family; Commitment to random drug testing; Involvement in a community-related program; Acceptance by a peer group; Acceptance of advice from treatment professionals; Respect for the rules of the house; Following all directions; No swearing; No stealing; No sexual activity between residents; Honesty; As part of a recovering community, if you see or hear any resident breaking the rules of the community, they must be reported immediately to appropriate staff; Anyone on prescribed medication must inform the house manager upon admittance; Residents must attend all sober house meetings; Residents must submit to drug and/or alcohol tests upon request; Rooms must be clean at all times; Chores must be completed without argument; Curfew must be respected.
Many of the above rules are enforced with a Zero Tolerance Policy. Meaning, if any of these rules are broken even once, you risk being kicked out of your sober living home. If you had experienced structure during your prior treatment to this point, you should be in good shape.
Remember, your treatment is a process. Skipping time, or skipping steps, does neither you nor your community any favors.