Colorado Addiction Treatment and Info

The latest trends show that the rates of substance abuse and addiction in Colorado are mostly linked to a rise in meth and opioid use. At the same time, however, the state has also seen an increase in the number of fatalities involving these substances of abuse.

Addiction in Colorado

Colorado enjoys heavily forested hillsides and beautiful mountain ranges. It also has a culture that is increasingly becoming diverse, as well as sprawling urban areas. As a result, residents are able to enjoy a wonderful lifestyle here.

Even so, there are certain substances of abuse in the state. These substances include methamphetamine or meth, opioid pain relief medications, and heroin. All these drugs have been causing issues among some residents.

Data from the federal government also shows that teen marijuana use and abuse has been on the decrease since this substance was legalized. It reached the lowest point in more than a decade. During the same time, the abuse of heroin and alcohol among teens has also been declining.

In spite of these positive news, research studies consistently report that these young people need the support of their communities, families, and schools. Without this support, most of them may not be able to achieve productive and successful lifestyles away from alcohol and alcohol.

This is particularly true because many young people in the state continue abusing other drugs - some of which are dangerous. According to the Youth Survey of Colorado, for instance, the following are some of the drugs that are most commonly abused by adolescents in the state:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Meth
  • Prescription painkillers
  • Prescription stimulants

The state has made it a priority to monitor and prevent drug abuse among teens. By so doing, it hopes to reduce the risk that the young people in Colorado will end up struggling with substance use disorders and other co-occurring mental health and medical disorders.

Commonly Abused Substances in Colorado

But which drugs are most commonly abused in Colorado? Consider the following information:

1. Alcohol

In 2014, TEDS - the Treatment Episodes Data Set - reported that 1035 people among every segment of 100,000 residents of Colorado were enrolled in a drug rehab with alcohol as their main substance of abuse.

The same year, the BHB - the Behavioral Health Barometers - released findings from a survey showing that more than 353,000 people above the age of 12 years in the state abused or were dependent on alcohol. the same report showed that more than 268,000 adults above the age of 21 years had engaged in heavy drinking every year from 2009 to 2013.

2. Marijuana

The TEDS report for 2011 showed that 123 to 164 people among every segment of 100,000 people checked into an addiction treatment facility for abusing and becoming dependent on marijuana.

3. Heroin

By 2018, the rates of substance abuse in Colorado had been lowering from the 10th position to the 12th across the United States. Even so, it seems that the state continues struggling with high rates of opioid abuse - which has contributed to an epidemic.

Prescription opioid pain relief medications and heroin continue driving this epidemic. Further, it seems that the rates of carfentanil and fentanyl abuse have been rising for several years now.

The following findings were reported by the state's heroin response task force:

  • Between 2010 and 2015, the total number of children who were born struggling with neonatal abstinence syndrome because their mothers were taking opioids while pregnant increased by more than 83 percent
  • From 2011 to 2015, the number of heroin arrests reported in the state increased by over 515 percent; during the same time period, the seizures of this drug increased by more than 2000 percent
  • From 2011 to 2015 also, the total number of fatalities involving heroin overdoses more than doubled

Other figures from 2011 show that 26 to 106 people among every segment of 100,000 people enrolled in a drug rehab center for abusing heroin. More than 33 percent of heroin related deaths in the state in 2011 were among people aged between 25 and 34 years.

4. Prescription Drugs

The state survey for Colorado for 2010 reported that close to 2,000 people were enrolled in an addiction treatment and rehabilitation facility for abusing other opioids apart from heroin. These include prescription drugs like morphine.

The same year, prescription drugs were responsible for 23 to 35 people among every segment of 100,000 residents who were enrolled in an addiction recovery center in Colorado. CODOHS also reported that about 5.1 percent of the entire population of the state abused prescription pain relief medications in 2012.

5. Cocaine

From 2009 through to 2011, about 69 to 98 people among every segment of 100,000 people per year checked into a drug rehab center for abusing cocaine and developing a substance use disorder as a result.

6. Other Drugs

Drug rehab centers in Colorado admitted a total of 789 people in 2010 due to substance use disorders involving other substances. These included stimulants, PCP, sedatives, tranquilizers, hallucinogens, and other unknown substances.

Drug Overdose Rates

Colorado lost 10552 lives as a result of a drug overdose from 2000 to 2015. Most of these fatalities were linked to opioid abuse. Additionally, the state experienced an increase of more than 3 times in the rates of opioid related overdose deaths over the period.

By 2017, the drug overdose deaths reported in Colorado continued climbing and reached their highest point of 959 deaths. Although opioids were responsible for many of these fatalities, methamphetamine was linked to the largest rates of death. That year specifically:

  • About 20 percent of these deaths were linked to heroin abuse
  • Deaths involving meth increased to 280 deaths or about 196 percent
  • Fatalities linked to fentanyl increased to 75 or about 50 percent
  • More than 50 percent of drug overdose deaths reported in Colorado were linked to opioids

Drug Related Injuries and Fatalities in Colorado

The NHTSA for 2012 reported that alcohol impaired drivers caused a total of 472 fatalities in Colorado. Other figures relating to the rates of drug involved fatalities and injuries in the state include:

  • Between 2009 and 2011, accidental drug overdose and poisoning was reported to be the 3rd cause of death among local residents
  • Most of the accident drug overdoses reported in 2013 were as a result of the use of prescription and illicit substances
  • People between the ages of 45 and 54 formed the largest segment of the Colorado population to suffer death due to accidental drug overdose and poisoning from 2009 to 2011
  • The Colorado Judicial Branch reported in 2009 that the adult drug courts in the state served close to 25 percent of local residents

Addiction Prevention in Colorado

Due to the growing rates of substance abuse - some of which tend to lead to fatal outcomes - the state of Colorado has many initiatives in place to counter this problem among local residents. These programs include:

a) Rise Above Colorado

Through this organization, the state has been attempting to change the perceptions and attitudes that local teens have about substance abuse. The organization has also been working to empower this population so that they are able to make healthier life choices away from all addictive substances.

b) The Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

The group partners with many other organizations in the fight against the growing opioid crisis in the state. It launched the campaign to provide resources and educations that can help residents protect themselves from prescription substance abuse. The key messages from the campaign include the safe storage, use, and disposal of all prescription drugs.

c) The Colorado Meth Project

This is a prevention program that uses community outreach programs, public service messaging, and public policy to reduce the rates of methamphetamine abuse across the state of Colorado.

d) The Heroin Response Work Group

This is a concerted effort liaised between federal and state officials. It is targeted at improving communication and relationships between public health, addiction treatment and recovery, and law enforcement entities. The primary goal of the group is to curtail and completely reduce the total volume of drugs that are on the Colorado market by focusing on the supply of opioids and heroin.

Addiction Treatment in Colorado

The state profile for Colorado released by N-SSATS - the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services - for 2010 reported that the state had a total of 437 centers offering addiction treatment services. These centers had enrolled close to 40,000 people that year.

Of this number, 229 facilities were offering addiction treatment only - with an enrollment rate of more than 21,000 people. Additionally, 169 of them provided dual diagnosis treatment for people struggling with both addiction and another co-occurring mental health or medical disorder. These centers admitted a total of 15567 residents.

Another 385 centers provided treatment for both drug and alcohol abuse issues to 16471 clients while another 316 facilities only offered drug abuse treatment services to 7593 people. Another 365 facilities offered treatment for alcohol use disorders for 15473 residents.

There are many addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs available in the state. These programs offer the following types of services to people in need of help with their substance abuse and dependence:

i) Intervention

Although you might be able to admit and realize that you have a substance use disorder, there are some instances where this might not always be evident to you. This is because you might be in denial about your drug taking. In such a situation, you would require intervention.

Through professional intervention, your friends, family, and even an expert interventionist would sit you down to talk about your ongoing drug use and abuse. During the meeting, they will try to recommend that you check into an addiction treatment program.

ii) Initial Assessment

When you agree to go for addiction recovery services, you will first be provided with a highly intensive assessment. The goal of this evaluation would be to determine the extent and severity of your substance use disorder as well as the existence of other co-occurring medical and mental health disorders.

Through this assessment, the drug rehab center will be able to create a highly individualized and personal treatment plan for you, including all the recovery services that you are going to need as you try to overcome your addiction.

iii) Medical Detox

After your assessment, you may be asked to go for medical detox services. This way, your withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings will be medically managed to ensure that you do not suffer too much as you make your progress through the first stages of your recovery.

iv) Residential or Inpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient or residential addiction treatment will offer you the recovery services that you need on an inpatient basis. This means that you will be living at the treatment center for the entire duration of your recovery - which could be 30, 60, or 90 days, or even longer.

v) Outpatient Drug Rehab

You can also choose to recover on an outpatient basis. This type of treatment is recommended if you have already been through an inpatient program, have not been diagnosed with co-occurring mental health disorders, and your addiction is mild or relatively new that you do not have to go through a residential treatment program.

Irrespective of the type of drug rehab center you choose - whether inpatient or outpatient - you may be able to recovery through the following therapy services:

  • 12-step support group meetings
  • Addiction education
  • Aftercare programming and planning
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Complementary, alternative, or holistic treatments like yoga, meditation, massage, equine therapy, and art therapy
  • Couples counseling
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Dual diagnosis addiction treatment
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Motivational interviewing

Getting Help

If you have been abusing drugs in higher doses or more frequently than you used to, it is recommended that you choose addiction treatment either on an inpatient or outpatient basis in Colorado so that you can get started on the road to recovery.


For more information about treatment centers in Colorado, Click Here.

Cities with Drug Rehab Centers in Colorado

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