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New Surveys Show West Hollywood Residents and Visitors See Meth as Most Harmful Substance Abuse Problem in the City

Meth use is rising rapidly in West Hollywood, California. Community Organization Working with City Leaders to Develop Prevention Strategies.

Los Angeles, CA, October 12, 2019 --( As the West Hollywood Project and City of West Hollywood launch preparations for their 7th annual alcohol- and drug-free New Year’s Eve party, #BOOM!, there is an increased focus on strategies to address the use of methamphetamine in the City. Data from a compilation of surveys conducted between 2014 and 2019 of more than 1,000 West Hollywood residents and visitors reveal meth use and abuse is a top concern.

"The City of West Hollywood 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," said Mayor John D’Amico. "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 #BOOM! and #SIZZLE! 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.

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.

The West Hollywood Project is part of the Institute for Public Strategies (IPS) and is focused on working with the City of West Hollywood to improve public health and safety through preventing meth and excessive alcohol use. IPS is a nonprofit organization, utilizing evidence-based strategies to help communities make lasting improvements in health, safety, and quality of life. IPS is funded by the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Substance Abuse Prevention and Control.

Contact: Cynthia Nickerson

Interview Opportunities:
Alexis Sanchez, West Hollywood Project
John D’Amico, West Hollywood Mayor

To arrange interviews with Mayor D’Amico contact Council Support Staff: (323) 848-6460 or email:
Contact Information
Institute for Public Strategies
Cynthia Nickerson

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