Prescription opioids are typically used to alleviate severe pain, and when used properly, they can be an effective part of an overall treatment program. However, there is a risk to taking opioids, namely, addiction. Opioids are highly addictive, and when taken in excess or for long periods of time, they can cause patients to develop substance use disorders.
Opioid Misuse Is a National Crisis
The amount of opioids prescribed to patients has been increasing since the 1990s. At the same time, the number of overdoses and deaths from opioids has also increased. Between 1999 and 2016, more than 200,000 Americans died from overdoses to prescription opioids.
Many news headlines report on the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths across the country. Over the past couple of years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of deaths caused by opioid addiction, and Colorado is no exception.
Colorado Opioid Stats
According to stats compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state of Colorado is experiencing an increase in overdose deaths from opioid use.
More specifically, overdose fatalities continue to reach record highs each year. In 2016, Colorado recorded 912 drug overdose deaths, more than in any other year prior. Then, 959 drug overdose deaths occurred in Colorado in 2017.
Although there may be major variations in overdose deaths from one county to the next in Colorado, the state as a whole is facing an epidemic in deaths related to drug use.
That said, Colorado has a slightly lower drug overdose rate compared with the national average. More specifically, Colorado’s rate of drug overdose deaths in 2016 was 16.1 deaths per 100,000 people, while the national rate is 19.8.
Opioids are a predominant influence in Colorado’s spike in drug overdose deaths. More than half of the overdose deaths in 2016 in Colorado were the result of opioids, whether prescription or illicit. That is an increase of more than 32 percent since 2001.
The crisis can be blamed on a number of factors, including the overprescription of painkillers and the easy access to illicit drugs that may be spiked with other harmful substances of which users might not be aware. When combined with mental health issues, the problems compound.
Colorado is losing nearly 1,000 citizens every year as a result of drug overdoses, and the trend shows no sign of plateauing. That is why it is so important to seek help as soon as a problem is detected. If you or any of your loved ones experience a substance use disorder, please seek help today.
Rest assured that there are Colorado addiction treatment resources available to help guide you to the right type of treatment program for your unique circumstances. You are not alone. We can help. Contact The Recovery Village Palmer Lake today to discuss admission.