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According to the CDC, Colorado has the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country. In this state, more people died from drug or alcohol abuse than were killed in vehicle accidents in 2015.
Most of the cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine distribution in the state is controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Also, street gangs are in direct contact with large criminal groups from Mexico, California, and Texas who distribute all types of drugs nationwide.
The best way to understand the scope of the drug situation in Colorado is to take a look at some of the shocking statistics. For example, in 2015 drug use claimed the lives of 904 citizens in the state. Let’s take a look a the numbers broken down by drug of choice:
Between 2012 and 2013, monthly marijuana use increased by 22%.
More than 530,000 people in Colorado use marijuana regularly.
About 4% of young adults admitted to using marijuana in the past year.
In Denver, 1548 marijuana-related arrests were made in 2013. Only one year later, arrests had dropped to 351. Some people attribute this decline in arrests to the legalization of recreational marijuana in this state.
Conversely, the number of arrests for public consumption of marijuana rose from only 8 in 2012 to 891 in 2014.
About 8% of drug treatment admissions were for marijuana.
Opioid overdose deaths increased three-fold from 2000 to 2015.
Between 2011 and 2013, more than 7600 people were treated in ERs because of drug overdoses. Of these, 86% were for prescription painkiller overdoses.
As many as 35 people die each month from accidental prescription drug overdoses.
About 224,000 people in the state misuse prescription drugs each year. This puts Colorado at #12 in the nation for legal drug abuse/misuse.
One-third of the people who misuse prescription drugs do so for recreational purposes.
Treatment admissions for opioid abuse rose from 6% in 2004 to 7.3% in 2013.
Deaths from heroin abuse increased by more than 500% since 2006.
There were 151 deaths attributed to heroin overdose in 2014.
Treatment admissions for heroin abuse rose from 1643 in 1993 to 4556 in 2013.
In Denver, heroin took the lives of more people than any other illicit substance in 2014.
Heroin abuse among 18-24 year-olds increased by 27% since 2008.
Meth is the number one drug problem in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado.
In 2014, federal agents seized 15,000 pounds of meth.
Denver and Aurora have seen a 140% increase in meth possession arrests since 2010. The number of arrests for meth possession in Colorado Springs doubled since 2010.
Treatment admissions for meth abuse reached 19.1% last year, up from only 3% in 2012.
About two-thirds of ID thefts in the state are committed by meth users.
The CDC reports that 2% of deaths from alcohol abuse in Colorado are between the ages 20 and 64.
Almost half of the citizens in Colorado between ages 18 and 25 admitted to binge-drinking within the past month.
In 2015, the number of deaths attributed to alcohol abuse was 847.
One out of five adults (18%), counting all age groups, engaged in heavy drinking monthly.
One out of three people arrested for DUI had a previous conviction for the same offense.
Colorado has one of the highest death rates in the country attributable to alcohol.
In 2012, cocaine ranked as the 4th most common cause of drug-related deaths, increasing to first place in 2013.
Treatment admissions for cocaine abuse declined from 7.3% in 2012 to 5.5% in 2013.
Cocaine abuse in Denver ranks in third place behind opioids and marijuana in substance abuse-related hospitalizations.
Between 2004 and 2012, cocaine death rates in Denver dropped from 9.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 4.0 deaths per 100,000 people.
Statewide, cocaine is the second-most seized and submitted substance for testing by law enforcement.
The drug abuse problems are so pervasive in Colorado that Governor John Hickenlooper launched a public awareness campaign entitled “Take Meds Seriously.” He hopes this initiative will help to address some of the prescription drug abuse in his state.
In addition to the public awareness campaigns initiated by the Governor of Colorado, many other organizations are dedicated to improving drug prevention and education efforts statewide. Below are just a few of the many programs in Colorado that are helping to save lives every day:
Of course, this is only a partial listing of the many education and prevention organizations in the state of Colorado.
If you need help choosing a drug rehab for yourself or a loved one in the state of Colorado, please call us today. One of our experts can help you find the best treatment center for your needs.
Substance abuse counseling approach
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Brief intervention approach
12-step facilitation approach
Contingency management motivational incentive
Dialectical behavioral therapy
Rational emotive behavioral therapy
Community reinforcement plus vouchers
Cash or self-payment
Private health insurance
Federal or any government funding for substance abuse programs
State financed health insurance plan other than Medicaid
Military insurance e.g. TRICARE
Access to recovery ATR voucher
IHS Tribal Urban ITU funds
No payment accepted
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