Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Denver, Colorado
Colorado, known for snow-capped mountains and hot springs, is also known for the legalization of marijuana. Although marijuana is frequently used, more and more Denver residents are increasingly abusing alcohol and drugs like heroin, benzodiazepines, and methamphetamines. Reports reveal Colorado suffers one of the United States’ worst drug problems, with Colorado having “the third-most serious drug problems of any state.”
In 2015, Colorado ranked 32nd in the nation for drug overdose rates in the U.S. Though young males consume the majority of drugs like opioids, 7 percent of women in Colorado with substance abuse disorders were pregnant. The drug of greatest concern in the Denver area has been heroin in recent years, due to the frequency of its use and the many dangers associated with the drug.
Denver Benzodiazepine use (drugs like Xanax and Valium) remain a cause of concern, as thousands of Denver residents have prescriptions. Death rates related to Benzo use have skyrocketed, doubling from 2000 to 2012.
Denver and Marijuana Addiction
Legal marijuana use in Denver is one of the most well-known facts about Denver. Despite marijuana’s legal status in the city, there are many negative consequences from its use. Marijuana was the fourth most common drug reported in 2012. 18.1 percent of admissions to rehab facilities for Denver residents in 2013 involved marijuana.
Marijuana is often mixed with alcohol and opioids, creating a unique addiction pattern in some Denver natives. Although most people who use marijuana are not addicted, an estimated 9 percent are. Denver residents who struggle with mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety are at risk of marijuana addiction and abuse. People who abuse marijuana also run the risk of it being laced with other drugs.
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Rising Rates of Opioid Use Denver
Opioids, like methadone and Codeine, are widely consumed in Denver, and rates of use are continuing to rise. Denver’s opioid use has increased by 933% over a 14-year timespan.In 2017, opioid-related deaths were at an all-time high with 269 deaths in Colorado, 52 of which occurred in the city of Denver; that same year, 6 Denver natives overdosed in a public library. Since 2005, drug overdose deaths have outnumbered deaths involving car accidents.
Common factors behind fatal opioid overdoses in Denver include:
- The quality of opioids being taken
- Other drugs mixed in with opioids, such as meth and fentanyl
- Relapses after a lengthy period of sobriety (especially relapses after returning from jail)
Fortunately, some people suffering with substance abuse disorders are getting treated. However, there are still many people suffering with addiction who are not getting the treatment they need. In 2014, 1,696 people in Colorado received treatment for opioids, and in 2016, 2,092 received treatment.
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Living with addiction is a challenging experience, but help is available. Contact a treatment provider today if you or a loved one suffers from alcohol abuse or has a substance abuse disorder. They can connect you or your loved one to several treatment facilities.