Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is the second-most populous city in the state of Colorado with a population of 416,427. Colorado is well-known for being one of the first states to legalize marijuana, and now also has the reputation for ranking seventh in the nation for the highest consumption of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription opioid pain medications. It is estimated that every year, a little over 10,000 people in the Colorado Springs area check into drug rehabilitation centers.
Alcoholism and Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs ranks higher than the state and national average for both substance use and mental health disorders. Many individuals with poor mental health will turn to alcohol in an effort to “self-medicate,” but this often leads to a development of co-occurring disorders. Co-occurring disorders happen when people suffer from both a metal and/or behavioral disorder and substance abuse disorder at the same time. Colorado also suffers from a higher percentage of adults reporting major depressive episodes than the rest of the nation. Mental health conditions like depression can also lead to binge drinking, a dangerous act of consuming excess amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. In 2018, the Colorado Health County Rankings reported that 18% of residents in El Paso County and 20% in Teller County (both in Colorado Springs) engaged in binge drinking within the past 30 days.
The Opioid Epidemic in Colorado Springs
Opioid abuse is a national epidemic, and Colorado Springs has not been spared its terrible effects. The number of deaths in Colorado due to fatal overdose has more than doubled in the past 15 years, and opioids are a major contributor. The vast majority of people who become addicted to opioids, both prescription and illicit, began using as prescribed by a doctor. Opioids are highly addictive drugs that are derived from, or a synthetic version of, opium. In a 2015 state-wide survey, 25% of Coloradans admitted to using pain medications in non-prescribed ways, and 29% have used pain medications belonging to others. Many patients who begin with prescription opioid abuse transition to stronger opiate drugs such as heroin and fentanyl due to increasing drug tolerance.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, people that are addicted to RX opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin than those who are not. The Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area is home to about 12% of the state’s population, and 15% of all of Colorado’s fatal heroin overdoses. The age group most susceptible to heroin abuse in Colorado Springs ranges from ages 17 to 25. The county of El Paso had 141 fatal drug overdoses in 2016, the highest in the state.
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Increasing Methamphetamine Use
Although the opioid epidemic has been the main concern of Colorado Springs, deaths due to methamphetamines have consistently increased within the past 15 years. Methamphetamine, commonly known as “meth,” is a highly addictive stimulant drug that warps the brain’s reward system and produces large, unnatural amounts of dopamine. Local officials attribute the rising methamphetamine use as a result of the drug often being sold within the area in conjunction with heroin. Meth-related deaths have more than doubled in El Paso County from 2016 to 2017, increasing from 36 to 67.
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With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.
Getting Help in Colorado Springs
Getting help can be daunting, especially in the environment that your addiction began. Colorado Springs is home to countless rehabilitation centers but traveling for treatment could be beneficial if you or a loved one is struggling with recovery in the area. Contact a providers today; there are dedicated treatment providers working around the clock to help you get on the path to recovery.