Wyoming Addiction Treatment
The recent heroin epidemic in Wyoming has been linked to years of prescription painkiller abuse. Over time, individuals can become dependent on painkillers and begin using them for non-medical purposes. After Wyoming lawmakers tightened prescription medication regulations, some drugs became more difficult to obtain. This led to some people stealing prescription drugs, doctor shopping, or even turning to heroin as a more accessible alternative.
“People have been known to steal medications from home medicine cabinets or they take them from grandparents and friends. We see ‘doctor shopping’ and other kinds of fraud to get unneeded prescriptions, as well as armed robberies from pharmacies. People get addicted, and then they get desperate.”
Private vehicles, commercial trucks and buses are the most common ways illegal substances enter Wyoming. Interstate 25 connects southern New Mexico to northern Wyoming and is often used by Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) to move heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Interstate 90, the longest interstate highway in the U.S., also passes through the northeastern region of Wyoming. This is typically used to transport drugs from state to state, bringing substances from major warehouses in New York City and Chicago to Wyoming communities.
In the last few years, state agencies have focused on raising awareness about substance abuse and recovery. As a result, more Wyoming residents are seeking help from addiction centers throughout the state.
Although marijuana is the primary substance cited in addiction treatment programs, other admissions involve:
If you’re ready to overcome your addiction, help is available. Call us now to explore your treatment options.
Laws of Wyoming Drug Use
Illicit substances are strictly prohibited in Wyoming including their possession, distribution and manufacture. Depending on the type of drug and amount involved, you will face harsh legal penalties.
Substances are broken into five schedules based on their risk of abuse and harm. For example, drugs that have a high risk for dependency – heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and opioids – fall under schedules I and II. The remaining schedules, III, IV and V, include drugs that have a lower risk for dependency such as codeine, some stimulants and antidepressants.
Criminal charges for controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in Wyoming are as follows:
|Schedules I or II – Narcotic||Up to 20 years in jail and $25,000 fine|
|Schedules I, II and III – Non-narcotic||Up to 10 years in jail and $10,000 fine|
|Schedule IV||Up to 2 years in jail and $2,500 fine|
|Schedule V||Up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine|
Marijuana Laws in Wyoming
While medical and recreational are both illegal in Wyoming, the state has passed a medical cannabidiol (CBD) law. CBD is only to be used in the treatment of severe, debilitating epileptic conditions and must contain a high amount of CBD and low percentage of THC.
Criminal charges for possession and cultivation are usually less severe than distribution, but all penalties are strictly enforced. In addition, if you’re found in possession of marijuana within 500 feet of a school, the fine will increase $500.
|Offense||Criminal Charge||Potential Sentence|
|Persons under the influence||Misdemeanor||6 months in jail and $750 fine|
|3 oz or less||Misdemeanor||12 months in jail and $1,000 fine|
|More than 3 oz||Felony||5 years in prison and $10,000 fine|
|Any amount||Felony||10 years in prison and $10,000 fine|
|Any amount||Misdemeanor||6 months in jail and $1,000 fine|
Addiction Treatment Laws in Wyoming
With a growing number of substance abuse cases in Wyoming, state officials have enacted several harm reduction laws to help keep neighborhoods safe. Harm reduction laws look at a whole person rather than just an addiction. By offering prevention and recovery resources, the laws focus on the health and well-being of individuals and communities.
Wyoming Prescription Drug Take Back Program
The Wyoming Department of Health works with local organizations and pharmacies in an effort to inform residents about safely discarding unused or expired medications. Wyoming’s prescription drug take back program keeps medications off the streets and also helps keep the environment clean.
Lock boxes are located in cities across Wyoming for people to anonymously and safely dispose of their prescription medications. You can place any unused or expired prescription drugs, prescription patches, medications, ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and pet medications in a properly labeled take back box. Products not accepted in drop off boxes include liquids, lotions, aerosol cans, inhalers and needles.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in Wyoming
In 2004 to 2005, Wyoming had five prescription drug-related deaths. Less than 10 years later, between 2012 and 2013, the number of deaths linked to prescription drugs rose to 116. Lawmakers are hopeful that stricter regulations on the state’s prescription drug monitoring (PDMP) program will help reduce prescription drug abuse.
Since 2004, Wyoming’s PDMP has collected information about drugs in schedules II–IV that are prescribed and dispensed. Health providers and pharmacists are able to access this data and view patient medication history, as well as look for any red flags of substance abuse. In addition to detecting potential substance abuse, the Wyoming PDMP allows doctors and pharmacists to:
- Identify insurance fraud
- Provide better overall patient care
- Detect drug diversion
- Educate the general public about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program in Wyoming
Wyoming’s rural terrain and close proximity to major highways makes it an easy target for drug trafficking efforts. Because of this, several counties – Albany, Campbell, Laramie, Natrona, Sweetwater and Uinta – are part of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program.
The Rocky Mountain HIDTA works to educate the public about substance abuse, specifically marijuana. Federal, state and local agencies develop initiatives that target drug trafficking efforts along major highways. Through information sharing systems and innovative technology, agency operations are able to stop dangerous drug cartels.
Several initiatives implemented by the Rocky Mountain HIDTA include:
- Wyoming Highway Patrol: Identifies drug trafficking efforts along Wyoming highways and interstates. Targets drug smugglers and transporters with routes passing through different Wyoming cities.
- Wyoming Regional Enforcement Teams: Various teams are assigned specific regions across Wyoming such as a central team, northeast team, southeast team and southwest team. Focus on drug efforts that involve methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.
- U.S. Postal Interdiction Program: Helps identify drug packages that are distributed through the mail. Also works to detect money shipments from different drug organizations.
Treatment Centers in Wyoming
Wyoming treatment centers offer a wide range of substance abuse services such as inpatient and outpatient rehab, individual therapy, support groups, medication assisted therapy and halfway houses. While state funding is limited for addiction treatment, many rehab facilities accept private insurance plans, as well as offer payment options for those in need.
The state also offers a Court Supervised Treatment Program (CST Program) which helps nonviolent drug offenders break the dangerous cycle of addiction. CST Programs across Wyoming entail drug testing, counseling, addiction and recovery education, group therapy and employment opportunities. Each participant must successfully complete a minimum of 12 months in the program before they are eligible for graduation.
Selecting an addiction treatment center is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make. Keep an open mind by researching rehab facilities both in state and out of state. In doing so, you’ll be able to find a treatment center that offers the amenities and specific therapies that are best for your long-term recovery.
Regardless of where you decide to seek treatment, help is available. If you’re ready to overcome your addiction, contact us now to find top-rated rehab facilities.