Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Treating Meth Addiction In San Diego County

Treating Meth Addiction In San Diego County


Patrick Foley, community outreach coordinator, McAlister Institute


KPBS has aired a three-part series this week on radio and TV about the growing problem in San Diego County of methamphetamine addiction.

The numbers are staggering: Meth-related deaths in the county went up from 157 in 2010 to 262 in 2014, according to the San Diego County Methamphetamine Strike Force. That’s a 67 percent increase.

And a report by the San Diego Association of Governments on drug tests done on adults jailed in the county in 2014 showed 40 percent of the men tested positive for methamphetamine and 53 percent of the women.

Patrick Foley, community outreach coordinator for the McAlister Institute in El Cajon, told KPBS Midday Edition Wednesday that treatment works for people who want it.

“(Counseling) gets them out of not just their delusional state of mind, but it helps them with structure," Foley said. "And if they’re ready to change, 12-step programs in Mcallister Institute work for people who want it. If it was for people who need it, I think everybody would get clean and sober. But it’s really for people who want it."

RELATED: San Diego: Addicted To Meth

Photo caption:

Photo by Brooke Ruth

The overdose death numbers do not include drug-related suicides, homicides or other causes of death in which drugs were involved.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.