San Gabriel oftentimes is referred to as the birthplace of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. San Gabriel is the first township to be created in what is now Los Angeles County. The city has a population of about 40,000 residents at this time.
Suicide and the Opioid Crisis in San Gabriel
As is the case in many California communities, San Gabriel has been impacted by the so-called opioid crisis. An ever-increasing number of people in San Gabriel are addicted to opioids, including prescription pain medications as well as street drugs like heroin.
As an outgrowth of the opioid crisis, public health officials in San Gabriel and elsewhere have come to realize a percentage of deaths classified as opioid overdoses are actually suicides, as reported in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Public health officials estimate that at least 2 percent of all deaths attributed to opioid overdose actually are suicides.
On first blush, some people contend that wrongly categorizing 2 percent of opioid deaths is “no big deal.” In fact, when the total number of suspected opioid deaths is considered, the number of people who took their lives using some type of opioid drug to do so becomes notable.
In the past decade, about 200,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses. Thus, using this research, at least two dozen deaths classified as opioid overdoses are likely suicides. In fact, many public professionals believe this figure is significantly lower than the actual number of people laboring under opioid abuse and addiction issues who ended up taking their own lives.
The matter of people addicted to opioids taking their own lives is a problem in San Gabriel, as it is in many locations across the United States. Public health officials in San Gabriel face the same issues in accurately identifying people who took their lives using an opioid in contrast to individuals who overdosed from this opioid use.
Discovering a Suicide in San Gabriel
Due to the nature of suicide, in the aftermath of someone taking his or her own life, a loved one oftentimes is the first person to discover the body. When this happens, the next step is to contact the San Gabriel Police Department by calling 911. Additional contact information for the San Gabriel Police Department:
San Gabriel Police Department
425 South Mission Drive
San Gabriel, California 91776
Non-emergency line: (626) 308-2800
Two more common situations exist when additional assistance is needed following a suicide. First, when a person uses a firearm or a knife to take his or her own life, the need for professional biohazard cleanup or suicide cleanup is necessary.
Second, in some instances, suicide is not immediately discovered. Due to the mechanisms of decomposition, hazardous fluids and gasses are released. This type of situation also necessitates suicide cleanup by a professional.
Suicide Prevention and Survivors of Suicide Support Resources in San Gabriel
NAMI San Gabriel Valley provides an array of both suicide prevention as well as survivors of suicide support services. NAMI maintains an informational HelpLine. The HelpLine is a referral service that can connect people with appropriate suicide-related services and resources for people in and around San Gabriel. The HelpLine number is (800) 950-NAMI (6264). The HelpLine is staffed Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The State of California has established the California Office of Suicide Prevention. This program was created to assist people struggling with suicidal ideation and their families. This includes residents of San Gabriel. The resources offered through this program are available via this link. In addition, a resident of San Gabriel can connect with this program via the phone at (916) 654-2309.
There are both suicide prevention programs and suicidal support resources available to residents of San Gabriel through Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services at (310) 895-2326. The programming offered via including individual therapy and counseling as well as suicide prevention groups and suicide survivors groups.
Because suicides do arise out of opioid addiction in San Gabriel, and elsewhere, one suicide prevention strategy is to treat the underlying addiction. A facility serving San Gabriel residents with substance abuse of additional issues, including opioid abuse and addiction is SUNH. Information about SUNH can be accessed by calling (877) 266-6892.
SUNH also provides treatment for people in San Gabriel afflicted with what medically is known as a dual diagnosis. This is a person with a substance abuse issue and mental health disorder. People with a dual diagnosis are at a higher risk for suicide than are individuals afflicted either with a substance abuse issue or mental health disorder.