When you consider how long opioids have been wreaking havoc on our beautiful country, you may begin to realize why the United States government has declared our current status as a public health emergency. For over 20 years, hundreds of thousands of people have died after overdosing on dangerous synthetic drugs, like fentanyl, heroin, and carfentanil, while millions more have started suffering from opioid use disorder. While certain parts of our country have been suffering more than others (the Midwest and New England regions being unfortunate examples), we also have to consider how the West is dealing with this situation. For today, let’s take a closer look at Colorado and find out the Centennial State is handling the Opioid Crisis.
Far Below the National Average
In terms of total opioid use, Colorado ranks fairly low on the list of states that are suffering from the opioid epidemic, but that’s not saying a lot. As of 2016, Colorado reported an incidence of 9.5 opioid overdose-related fatalities per 100,000 residents (about 536 deaths in total), far below the U.S. national average of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, heroin-related deaths rose from 91 in 2012 to 234 in 2016, while synthetic opioid-related deaths increased from 52 to 72 over the same period.
Drops in Opioid Consumption
Overall, in 2013, Colorado doctors prescribed 3.7 million opioid prescriptions, equating to around 69.8 drugs per 100 patients; in contrast to the U.S. incidence of 79.3 drugs per 100 people. Interestingly, though, the state reported a 6% decline in opioid use from 2013 to 2015, ultimately producing an incidence of 63.7 drugs per 100 patients.
Sevenfold Increase in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
In a shocking twist, Colorado has experienced a sevenfold increase in cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), contrasting with its downplayed opioid prescription rate. From 1999 to 2013, the state reported a rise from 0.4 cases per 1,000 births to 2.9 cases per 1,000 births. Keep in mind that the national average across 28 neighboring states was estimated at 6.0 cases per 1,000 births, however.
Viral Outbreaks in Colorado
Ultimately, the state has still reported a high rate of viral outbreaks, despite positive outcomes with the general use of opioids. Out of the 39,513 new cases of HIV reported in 2015, Colorado confirmed 373 new outbreaks. Meanwhile, out of the 181,871 new cases of hepatitis C in 2015, Colorado documented 4,865 new cases.
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder is easily one of the most terrifying substance use disorders on the planet, mostly because opioid addiction partially stems from a large number of drugs that are legally regulated by the federal government. For decades, our country has suffered beneath the weight of dangerous synthetics and legal painkillers, and millions of Americans have suffered from addiction throughout the 20 years the crisis has been brewing. However, you can make the right decision by taking a stand against your addiction and regaining your health and happiness.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug addiction, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of opioid withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.