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Despite WeHo’s Efforts, Meth is Still a Chronic Health Issue

Carol Kay

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WEST HOLLYWOOD — Meth use as been an issue in West Hollywood for many years, and the City continues to struggle with the issue.

WeHo contracts with a multitude of substance abuse treatment providers to offer a full continuum of treatment, including Harm Reduction, Inpatient Medical Detox, Residential, Transitional/Sober Living and Intensive Outpatient Programming to our community members struggling with addiction to Crystal Meth.

Mayor John D’Amico said, “Despite all that the City does to address the Meth epidemic, there is a constant and undeniable level of meth use and abuse in the city.”

The West Hollywood Project, an initiative funded by the L.A. County Department of Public Health to reduce drug and alcohol problems in West Hollywood, surveyed hundreds of people over the last several years at their large-scale, alcohol- and drug- free community events to gauge opinions about substance abuse in the City.

The results show more than 67% of people surveyed at #SIZZLE! (part of the LA Pride Festival) and more than 50% of people who attended #BOOM! (a New Year’s Eve gala) between 2014 and 2019 believe meth misuse is prevalent in West Hollywood. A majority of #BOOM! attendees believed open meth use in bars, clubs and community events is the substance abuse harming West Hollywood the most.

Recognizing the extent of meth’s impact, City leaders are welcoming partnerships with organizations working to curb its use. One such partnership is with the Safe West Hollywood Community Coalition (SWHCC), a branch of the West Hollywood Project comprised of residents, prevention professionals and treatment providers.

The SWHCC is developing a “Meth Report Card” that will quantify key metrics like meth overdoses and mortality rates in West Hollywood. The Meth Report Card will be released right before a Meth Town Hall scheduled for February.

SWHCC is partnering with the City to host the Meth Town Hall, where community leaders and activists, elected officials, nonprofit representatives, and concerned citizens can come together and discuss ways to combat meth use in West Hollywood.

In addition to reducing meth problems, the SWWHC is also working on harm prevention initiatives. The Coalition hosted a workshop in West Hollywood during the summer to train servers, bartenders, property managers and other concerned community members, on how to use Narcan to reverse an overdose.

Narcan reverses the effects of opioids on the brain. It is increasingly used by police, first responders and ER doctors to revive overdose patients. More than 50 people were trained at the workshop and plans are underway to host more training events.

Upcoming Events

The 7th annual #BOOM! alcohol- and drug-free New Years Eve party is scheduled for Tuesday December 31st, from 8pm to 1am, at the West Hollywood Auditorium, 647 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069.

The Meth Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday February 12, 2020, 5pm – 10pm at West Hollywood City Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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