Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is the second-most populous city in the state of Colorado with a population of 478,961. 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.
Fortunately, there are several treatment facilities nearby, but traveling a short distance to neighboring regions might be more beneficial in finding the assistance best suited to your needs.
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. 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 (5 or more drinks for men, 4 or more for women within a 2 hour timeframe). 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. Just within the last few years, from 2019 to 2020, overdose deaths in El Paso County increased from 130 to 186 respectively. Fentanyl-caused deaths more than doubled over the same time period: 21 in 2019 to 47 in 2020.
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 prescribed 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. Opioid-related deaths increased over the course of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, too. In 2020, the number of overdose fatalities showed the highest jump in 20 years, increasing by 38% from 2019.
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.
Break free from addiction.
You have options. Talk about them with a treatment provider today.
Getting Help In Colorado Springs
Getting help can be daunting, especially in the environment that your addiction began. Colorado Springs is home to several rehabilitation centers but traveling for treatment could be beneficial if you or a loved one is struggling with recovery in the area. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss your treatment options.
Jena Hilliard earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida in English Literature. She has always had a passion for literature and the written word. Upon graduation, Jena found her purpose in educating the public on addiction and helping those that struggle with substance dependency find the best treatment options available.
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- Coacep.org. (2017). Colorado ACEP 2017 Opioid Prescribing & Treatment Guide. Retrieved on 8th October 2018 from https://coacep.org/docs/COACEP_Opioid_Guidelines-Final.pdf
- Coloradohealthinstitute.org. (2018) Death by Drugs. Retrieved on 8th October 2018 from https://www.coloradohealthinstitute.org/research/death-drugs
- Countyhealthratings.org. (2018) Excessive Drinking in Colorado 2018. Retrieved on 8th October 2018 from http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/colorado/2018/measure/factors/49/data
- Elpasocountyhealth.org. (2017). El Paso County Health Indicators 2017 Report. Retrieved on 8th October 2018 from https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/sites/default/files/CHA%20Report%202017_0.pdf
- Elpasocountyhealth.org. (2012) Health Indicators Motor Vehicle Injuries 2012 Report. Retrieved on 8th October 2018 from https://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/sites/default/files/files/MotorVehicle.pdf
- Jakob Rogers. (2018). Gazette.com. Meth Makes a Comeback in Colorado, El Paso County as Opioid Epidemic Worsens. Retrieved on 8th October 2018 from https://gazette.com/news/meth-makes-comeback-in-colorado-el-paso-county-as-opioid/article_5125d414-b22c-11e8-ac94-97af3177538d.html
- The Gazette. (2021). Pandemic Accelerated Addictions, Colorado Springs Treatment Facilities Racing to Catch Up. Retrieved on December 28, 2021 from: https://gazette.com/news/pandemic-accelerated-addictions-colorado-springs-treatment-facilities-racing-to-catch-up/article_89ce9a86-016f-11ec-af39-6713942f55e7.html