Last updated: September 20, 2021
The use of alcohol and illegal drugs in the state of Colorado significantly exceeds the national average. Many studies indicate that mental illness and substance abuse are major issues for Colorado and other mountain states. According to a federal survey conducted in 2011, 11.3 percent of Colorado residents 12 and older admitted to using an illicit drug. In comparison, four percent of the population of the United States 12 and older admitted to using an illegal drug.
While the state of Colorado is well-known for its recent legalization of marijuana, the addiction epidemic is centered on more than just marijuana. Colorado is dealing with an addiction epidemic related to meth, heroin, prescription painkillers, and alcohol.
After the legalization of marijuana, Colorado saw a decline in the use of marijuana. However, now that marijuana is legal, the Mexican cartel has adopted new ways to make a profit from the drug industry. The Mexican cartel is now smuggling high quality heroin, meth, and cocaine. Undoubtedly, the state of Colorado has a long battle ahead when it comes to fighting the addiction epidemic afflicting its residents. Here are 21 shocking Colorado drug abuse statistics.
For certain drugs, treatment admissions have tripled
According to several studies, treatment admission in the state of Colorado has tripled for certain drugs. Some of these drugs include Fentanyl, Methadone, Oxycodone, Hydromorphone, and Hydrocodone.
Colorado drug overdoses are higher than the national average
The rate of deaths by overdose is higher in Colorado than in any other state in the United States. Unfortunately, the number of drug overdoses in the state of Colorado are up in just about every county. In Arapahoe County, the number of drug overdose deaths doubled in the past 15 years. In most counties, Percocet, Oxycontin, and other prescription painkillers are the main drivers behind the epidemic.
Colorado is the only state with a problem with all four major intoxicants
Colorado is the only state with problems with all four major intoxicants, which are opioids, marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol.
Colorado can’t deal with the addiction crisis
While public health officials have done their best to deal with the addiction crisis in Colorado, they have largely been unsuccessful when it comes to reducing fatal drug overdoses.
Many addicts not getting the help they need
About 85 percent of addicts are not getting the help and care they need in the state of Colorado.
There are not enough treatment centers
The number of spots in treatment centers in the state of Colorado does not come close to the number of addicts. Due to insufficient funds, addiction treatment is not tailored to the needs of the individual.
Most of the heroin users seeking treatment are young adults
Most of the heroin users seeking treatment in Colorado are aged 18-24. 25-34 is the second largest age group of heroin users seeking treatment.
Pregnant women in seeking treatment
Of the women in Colorado seeking treatment for drug addiction, seven percent are pregnant. On a national level, just one percent of women seeking treatment for drug addiction are also pregnant.
Prescription opioid overdose dropped while illegal street drug overdoses are on the rise
According to recent reports, illegal street drug overdoses increased while prescription opioid overdose decreased.
Denver has been hardest by the addiction epidemic
According to statistics, the city of Denver has been impacted the most by the addiction epidemic. The rate of alcohol consumption is highest in Colorado than in any other state in the country.
Treatment for meth prevalence in colorado
Meth is a major problem in the south, central, and northeast areas of the state. Many residents are seeking treatment for meth and the number of adults using meth is growing.
Illegal drug usage in Colorado highest in the country
20 percent of residents in Colorado use illegal drugs. This rate is the highest in the United States. Not only is the illicit drug usage high in Colorado, but also few residents are getting help for their addiction.
Treatment admission statistics rising in Colorado
Heroin treatment admissions rose 200 percent since 2007 and meth treatment admissions rose 30 percent.
U-47700 is still legal in Colorado
U-47700 is an opioid that is even more addictive and potent than morphine. However, this drug is still legal in Colorado and has led to two overdose deaths in Colorado this year.
Overdoses are now the leading cause of death
Since 2005, drug overdose has surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death in the state of Colorado.
Rural area addiction crisis in Colorado
Rural areas in the state of Colorado are now experiencing an addiction epidemic that started with opioid prescription painkillers.
What Colorado is doing about addiction to meth
The Colorado Meth Project started a new campaign to fight addiction to meth. The campaign featured a video contest intended to raise public awareness about meth addiction.
New alcohol regulations
The state of Colorado recently passed a law that allows alcohol to be sold in grocery stores.
Colorado businesses dropping marijuana from drug tests
Fewer Colorado businesses are drug testing for marijuana prior to employment, which presents a serious safety risk.
What the state of Colorado is doing about opioid addiction
Recently, legislation was approved to develop a research center for substance abuse at the University of Colorado.