Addiction Issues in Colorado
Drug addiction and alcoholism are major issues in Colorado. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were a total of 564 opioid overdose deaths throughout the state in the year 2018 alone. While the rates of written opioid prescriptions are slightly lower than the national average, providers wrote 45.1 opioid prescriptions per every 100 state residents during the same year.
While all regions of Colorado have been experiencing high rates of substance abuse, the city of Denver in particular has been severely impacted. Denver Public Health recently reported that one out of every four adults in Denver binge drinks on a regular basis. In 2018 Denver saw exceptionally high rates of alcohol-related car accidents and emergency room visits. in the same report, Denver Health reported approximately 30,000 emergency room visits for a substance-abuse related issue; of those, the leading cause (36 percent) was alcohol abuse. Another 16,708 people, or 46 per day, were admitted to Denver CARES, a community-based, non-medical detoxification unit where individuals are sent when found publicly intoxicated. Roughly 38 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes in Denver involved alcohol — a relatively high proportion compared with other urban areas, according to national transportation statistics.