For low-income and homeless San Diegans who want to stop using drugs and yet fear painful withdrawal symptoms, quickly getting a substance-use treatment bed is like winning the lottery.
San Diegans with Medi-Cal insurance often must wait for residential treatment – or are never able to access it. Last year, 1,300 people died from overdoses. Even if small fraction of low-income residents wanted help, they likely couldn’t find it.
As our Lisa Halverstadt reports, a limited number of detox beds, a lack of programs that can treat detox patients experiencing other medical issues and burdensome intake processes have all contributed to the access crisis.
By the numbers: The county now has just 72 detox beds and just over 1,000 longer-term treatment beds for the nearly 1 million local Medi-Cal patients. Just two of those beds are in the city of San Diego. The county and provider expect to bring 10 new detox beds online in coming weeks – and say they are determined to add treatment options. The county has also been increasing access to outpatient options.
El Niño Cometh, But What Does It Bringeth
“El Niño, once feared and nearly revered, has lost cachet,” writes Voice contributor Rober Krier.
El Niños used to come with big predictions of rain. That was sometimes positive news in our drought-riddled state. But forecasting exactly how much rain an El Niño will bring is uncertain science. Sometimes, it’s enough to damage roads and sometimes it’s really not that much at all.
“I don’t think the skill is there to make a very good judgment” about what El Niño will bring, said one local forecaster. “It very well could be a big event, but I will not reach into my wallet and put 20 bucks on it.”
Krier gives a great lesson on what an El Niño actually is and also tells us whether we should worry, wonder or just relax about the weather to come.
In Other News
- A rash of sexual assaults have taken place at CSU San Marcos in recent weeks, officials told students and staff in an email. At least five assaults have happened since the start of the semester. Two of the events were related, officials said. (NBC 7)
- UC San Diego has its biggest student body yet. More than 40,000 students are set to begin the fall semester and new buildings to house students are popping up all over campus. Meanwhile, The New York Times recently reported that college enrollment across the country is on the decline. (U-T)
- Sheriff’s officials released sketches of several men in connection to an execution-style killing a few miles east of the Otay Mesa border crossing. Two men crossed the border through a gap in the fence. A group of four men approached them and asked who they paid to help them cross. They said no one. The group of men allegedly marched them up a hill, had them kneel down and shot them both. One survived. (10 News)
- Roughly 32,000 Medicare Advantage members are about to be kicked off the rolls of some of Scripps Health’s clinics and medical groups. Scripps officials say they were losing too much money seeing the Medicare Advantage patients. (U-T)
- Chula Vista will hold an art festival for local artists this weekend. (10 News)
- Get those sweaters out, babes. San Diego is set to have an unusually cool weekend with a deep marine layer. (Times of San Diego)
Correction: Yesterday’s Morning Report misstated the city behavioral health officer’s statement about the share of San Diego Fire-Rescue emergency medical service calls tied to 28 behavioral health patients. Their calls accounted for 2 percent of all EMS calls.
The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt and Will Huntsberry. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.