Heroin-related deaths are surging in rural areas of Northern California, where affordable housing is scarce and homelessness is rising https://t.co/B6Go7pDp3D— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 8, 2018
The dirty needles can be found scattered among the pine and brush, littering the forest floor around Eureka, a town long celebrated as a gateway to the scenic Redwood Empire. They are the debris of a growing heroin scourge that is gripping the remote community in Northern California.
While the state as a whole has one of the lowest overall opioid-related death rates in the country, a sharp rise in heroin use across the rural north in recent years has raised alarms. In Humboldt County, the opioid death rate is five times higher than the state average, rivaling the rates of states like Maine and Vermont that have received far more national attention.
The problem is exacerbated here in Eureka, the county seat, by a sizable homeless population that is growing amid an extreme lack of affordable housing and a changing, weakened economy...
My latest piece took me to CA's North Coast, where a surge of heroin use has converged with homelessness and longtime meth abuse in frightening ways. "They take meth to keep moving at night, and take heroin during the day to feed their cravings." https://t.co/Uw9omH9CjC— Jose A. Del Real (@jdelreal) May 8, 2018
This is a scourge upon our state, and our nation, that is going unaddressed because politicians such as @XavierBecerra are too focused on Washington to see the damage here at home. This is a difficult issue that requires the community and #LawEnforcement https://t.co/uRhcuq4zwD— Judge Steven Bailey (Ret.) (@BaileyForAG) May 8, 2018