Colorado drug abuse overview

Colorado has a population of 5,812,069 people. The most recent data from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that 1,157,000 people over the age of 12 had abused illegal substances in the past month, around 19.91% of the population. 1,078,000 reported marijuana use in the past month and 1,396,000 in the past year. The report also found that 122,000 Colorado residents had abused cocaine in the past year, 79,000 had abused meth, and 195,000 had abused prescription pain medication. 34,000 people over the age of 18 reported using heroin in the last year. Those reporting opioid misuse including heroin, painkillers, and fentanyl in Colorado totaled 193,000 people.

Colorado and alcohol abuse

Alcohol misuse was also reported in Colorado with 2,900,000 people over the age of 12 saying they had used alcohol in the last month and 1,313,000 reporting binge drinking. The perceived risk of people over 12 years of age indulging in problematic alcohol use (5 or more drinks twice a week) in a month was 2,399,000 people.

Colorado overdose deaths

In 2021, Colorado saw a total of 1715 recorded drug-related overdose deaths. This includes those that were accidental or unidentifiable but excludes those that were related to suicide or homicide. This puts the overdose death toll in Colorado at 29.5 people per 100,000. The total number of alcohol-related deaths (including overdose and all other causes) was 1695 or 29.1 per 100,000 people.

Colorado substance use disrorders

The NSDUH report recorded the total amount of substance abuse disorders in Colorado and those who currently require treatment. The report found that 1,087,000 were recorded as having a substance use disorder (SUD) and 713,000 had an alcohol use disorder. 109,000 people were recorded as having an opioid use disorder including those with painkiller, heroin, and other opioid-based drug use disorders.

Colorado addiction treatment

There are many who have been diagnosed with or reported a substance, illicit drug, or alcohol use disorder that require rehab treatment and are not receiving it. The report found that 535 people in Colorado needed treatment for illicit substance abuse, 701,000 required treatment for an alcohol use disorder, and 1,022,000 needed treatment for a diagnosed substance use disorder.

Colorado addiction statistics

  • In Colorado the percent of treatment admissions for methamphetamines has doubled from 3% in 2012 to 6% in 2016 and substantially increased for heroin from 4% in 2012 to 7% in 2016
  • Fentanyl-related death rates per 100,000 people more than quadrupled in Colorado since 2016
  • According to an article by NPR, crystal meth was involved in nearly 300 overdose deaths in Colorado in 2018

How do i choose the right addiction treatment in Colorado?

Finding the right treatment center to help with addiction may seem like a daunting task. Depending on where you live and what type of dependence or addiction you have, it may be difficult to find the right rehab or treatment option for your specific needs. In some cases, you may need to travel to find the right treatment, but most states will have a rehab facility that will be able to help so you won’t need to go far. 

You may also need to consider whether a stay in a residential rehab facility or an outpatient treatment program are right for you. There is also the financial commitment, with some rehabs offering treatment covered by Medicaid or health insurance while others may offer payment plans. There are also free rehabs available to those who can't afford private addiction treatment. 

Colorado treatment centers offer help for a wide range of substance use disorders and behavioral addictions. Use our directory to find the right addiction treatment center for you and begin the road to recovery.

What treatment options are available in Colorado?

Rehabs in Colorado facilitate great client care, providing necessary services from detox support to treatment programs. Knowing the different interventions and programs available will help individuals make an informed decision on which suits their situation best.

  • Inpatient rehab - the most pressing concern at the start of the recovery process is the detox. Depending on the severity, it may sometimes be life-threatening, and should ideally happen under the care of experts. Inpatient rehab will also secure individuals from accessing the triggering substance, thereby preventing a quick relapse and providing a supportive space to recover.

  • Residential treatment – comparable to inpatient care, residential treatment provides a controlled yet more casual environment for recovery. Clients do not require intensive monitoring, but will still receive guidance and treatment during their stay. This setting is can be likened to a retreat.

  • Outpatient treatment – outpatient rehab grants clients more freedom, but also more personal responsibility regarding recovery. Individuals have more control over their rehab schedules and are trusted to honor these commitments for their rehabilitation.

  • Gender-specific treatment – this type of treatment gives care providers a more concrete intervention plan, as it recognizes the different experiences and motivations of people from different genders.

  • Age-specific program – this is specifically for teenagers and adolescents suffering from addiction, with interventions that are appropriate for the age group.

  • Private rehab – Colorado private rehabs take advantage of the scenic views and add layers of luxury and comfort, with boundaries to uphold a steady and humble setting.

How do I pay for rehab?

Funding has long been a major obstacle in seeking addiction treatment. Despite any willingness to recover, progress tends to pause when finances come into play.

Private insurance can go a long way in making rehab treatments more affordable. Medicaid is also a viable option for those without private insurance. Although not all treatment centers accept state assistance, many drug and alcohol rehabs in Colorado welcome it.

Colorado free rehabs are hard to come by due to resource limitations, but many non-profit organizations do give free treatments of varying levels. Most provide outpatient services and limited residential rehab. Meanwhile, support groups are a good way to gain a supportive circle for recovery. AAs are time-tested, free outlets for those who need relatable peers.

Addiction treatment for teens and young people in Colorado

There are a lot of rehab centers that specialize in youth addiction treatment programs, such as those in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Boulder. This kind of age-specific treatment incorporates age-appropriate programs that differ from those applied to adults.

These facilities tend to encourage peer-to-peer interactions, to create a nourishing and esteem-building environment for the teens. Familial connections are highly encouraged here. Clients also receive accredited academic support during their stay.

Addiction support groups in Colorado

There are plenty of addiction support groups in most cities in Colorado, normally in more populated locations. These support groups are free and usually headed by an experienced guide or leader, typically licensed counselors. Some support groups only host people currently battling addiction, while others host actively sober individuals. Separate support groups for families of those with addiction are also spread throughout the state.

These groups meet intermittently at a pre-discussed location or via video conference.

Government addiction treatment assistance in Colorado

Beyond Medicaid, the state of Colorado does not currently provide further financial assistance or services for addiction rehabilitation. However, there are federal initiatives that can be benefitted from by Colorado residents.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Block Grants by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) give grants to eligible applicants, to be used towards promoting public health and treating substance abuse.

Colorado does extend assistance and guidance for state employees through the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP) website.