More than half of Ojai Valley arrests are drug related

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
During 2017, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office (VCSO) made 1,469 arrests in the Ojai Valley. 765 of those arrests, or 52 percent, were narcotics-related, according to VCSO Capt. James Fryhoff.
Ojai has a drug problem, Fryhoff said, as does every other city in Ventura County.
We know that not everybody who uses drugs commits a crime or commits theft, but we also know that there's a lot of theft that's associated with drug use,” he said. “We can keep our crime down if we enforce those laws driven around narcotics.”
Methamphetamine is the drug Fryhoff sees most often in the Valley, but opioid addiction is on the rise in the Valley as it is nationwide.
“The access to opiates is higher than it used to be,” he said. “When I was a deputy here, we didn't see heroin at all. It's prevalent because the prescription pill abuse caused significant addiction to opiates and the next segueway, heroin, is cheap and readily available.”
According to the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, the 93023 area code had approximately 768 opiate prescriptions per 1,000 people during 2016. Ventura County as a whole had 608 prescriptions per 1,000 people during 2016.
See also: “Some local deputies will begin carrying Narcan," Ojai Valley News, Oct. 5, 2017.

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