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Colorado is considered by most to be one of the most beautiful states in the country. The Rocky Mountains provide a majestic backdrop to incredible vistas visible throughout the state. Outdoors enthusiasts, athletes and thrill seekers from around the world come to Colorado to hike, bike and ski the slopes. Even with all this natural wonder and opportunity for outdoors fun, however, many residents still decide to use drugs to get an unnatural high.

Among some types of drugs, Colorado residents use more than many other states in the country. There doesn’t even seem to be a good reason for it, as Colorado isn’t a major producer of drugs. Some of the main highways in Colorado may be corridors for the shipment of drugs to other parts of the country and Canada, however.

Drug Facts and Statistics in Colorado

In 2012 marijuana was legalized for recreational purposes in both the states of Colorado and Washington. With this has come a series of problems including a spike in the overall drug use rate in the state from many drug abusers moving to Colorado for easy access to marijuana. There has also been a report from Fox News on marijuana “treats” sending more and more children to the ER after they eat drug laced sweets. In addition to this the drug use rate for marijuana users has also lowered; having kids under 12 trying the drug because they think it is not dangerous or addictive because of the law changes.

Here are some specific facts about Colorado drug use from the White House Drug Policy Drug Control update:

  • Colorado has a higher rate of past-month drug use than many other states. Surprisingly, 13.48 percent of Colorado residents have used drugs in the past month, while the national average is only 8.82 percent.
  • Marijuana is the most popular drug in the state.
  • 784 people died in Colorado in 2009 as a direct result of their drug use. To put this in comparison, only 557 people died from car accidents, and 583 died due to firearms. This puts drug use at far over two other causes of preventable death.
  • Colorado is in the top ten of states when ranked for illegal drug use among 18 to 25-year-olds, past-year cocaine use among people over the age of 12, past-month marijuana use among 18 to 25-year-olds and overall drug addiction among 12 to 17-year-olds.

What Drugs are Being Used in Colorado

As mentioned above marijuana is a major problem in the state of Colorado. The state is also struggling with its own prescription drug problems. Opioid painkiller drugs are the most abused of all prescriptions in Colorado. In order to curb this the state is holding a series of Drug Take Back Days where residents can dispose of unused prescriptions.

Here is the basic breakdown of which drugs are used in Colorado:

  • Marijuana is responsible for about 30 percent of all drug treatment admissions in the state, but this percentage has actually declined from 35 percent just two years before.
  • The second highest percentage of admissions for drug use treatment is for meth and other stimulants. Use of these drugs is declining and has been steadily since 2005.
  • Cocaine and crack continue to drop precipitously in use and in treatment admission rates. These drugs were once the leader in drug treatment admissions at almost 40 percent, but they are now at about 15 percent.
  • Heroin treatment admission rates have never been very far above 15 percent in Colorado, but they are currently slowly climbing up.
  • Opioids such as painkillers are making a very steady increase in treatment rates from less than five percent two decades ago to now accounting for approximately 12 percent.

Resources & Sources for Colorado Drug Treatment – Colorado Drug Control Update:

Fox News – Medical Marijuana Laws and Treats May Send More Kids to ER:

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