Recent shifts in drug choice have officials alarmed. In South Orange County, a place comprised of middle to upper class neighborhoods, prescription drug users are now turning to heroin because of its lower costs compared to Vicodin and Oxycotin. However, most users are resorting to smoking heroin instead of injecting it to avoid the stigma of being a "junkie." Cocaine users are also searching for cheaper alternatives and thus turning to methamphetamine.
Orange County and surrounding counties see a higher rate of drugs and lower prices compared to the rest of the country due to their proximity to Mexico. Drugs often pass through this area before being distributed across the country. According to a 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment, heroin production in Mexico which was headed for the U.S. increased from 17 tons in 2007 to 38 tons in 2008—an over two-fold increase. And despite violent wars between drug cartels in Mexico, the availability of most drugs continues to increase. See Health and Safety Code Sections 11377, 11378, 11350, 11351.
Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636
This story is covered in this Orange County Register OC in Two video: