While drug and alcohol abuse seems to be on the rise across the country, with opioid use alone being considering a domestic epidemic, Utah probably isn’t the first place you think of when you think of substance abuse.
That’s probably because most people look to bigger, more congested cities where access to drugs and alcohol may be easier to obtain.
The truth is that the predominantly Mormon state of Utah has a rampant substance abuse problem that seems to be worsening daily.
In fact, the following statistics on Utah substance use might shock you.
Now, while these statistics are eye-opening, we aren’t sharing these to get a rise out of you. We want you to understand how much drugs and alcohol have infiltrated the Beehive State so that if you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse in Utah, you have the tools to obtain the help and treatment you need sooner.
Continue reading to explore four mind-blowing Utah substance abuse statistics that we hope to help change in the near future.
Four Utah Substance Abuse Statistics
1. Utah had the seventh-highest drug overdose rate in the United States between 2013 and 2015.
In a community where most inhabitants try to live a clean, healthy lifestyle, prescription medications often fall into a “gray” area, with many people believing they are safe and acceptable to use.
Unfortunately, the addictiveness of many prescription pills, including opioid pain medications, has given rise to a significant climb in Utah substance abuse cases. In fact, Utah has become one of the most substance abuse-ridden states in the nation.
An average of six Utah residents die every week from an opioid overdose.
2. Prescription drug deaths in Utah have increased by 400% since 2000.
While most people will be surprised by this statistic, medical professionals and policymakers who have followed the prescription drug abuse trend will not be.
In fact, 80% of heroin users in Utah started with misuse of a prescription drug. From 2013-2015, Utah ranked fifth-highest in the nation for prescription drug overdose deaths.
3. Most people affected by pill addiction in Utah are Mormons.
With 60% of Utah’s residents being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, many affected here belong to the church.
While drug use is strictly forbidden in this faith-based community, many people don’t view medications prescribed by a doctor as illicit substances.
Sadly, many Utah substance abuse cases start innocently, with an injured or sick person simply seeking relief from their painful symptoms. In these cases, the medication is legally prescribed by their physician.
As addiction to a particular medication begins to take over their system, many find themselves seeking more pills illegally or turning to illegal drugs like heroin when they realize it is a cheaper way to obtain the same high.
In the worst-case scenarios, some people turn to multiple substances as their substance abuse strengthens.
In 2012, 49% of people enrolled in substance abuse treatment were treated for both drug and alcohol issues in Utah.
4. Only 1 in 10 people with substance abuse disorder receive treatment.
While this applies to all Americans, Utah substance abuse cases align with this statistic.
Most people who need treatment for substance abuse do not receive it in Utah and nationwide. This is a sad fact, considering that many effective treatment options exist.
Some of the main reasons people do not seek substance abuse treatment include
- Lack of understanding or access to a treatment facility
- Unwillingness to stop using the drugs or alcohol they’ve become addicted to
- Fear that treatment may get in the way of work or home life
- Shame that comes with admitting they have a problem with drugs or alcohol
Utah Substance Abuse Treatment You Can Trust
Public policy on the issue of Utah’s substance abuse problem is starting to turn around, with some judges recommending treatment over jail time for those struggling.
Damian Trujillo, a Utah resident recovering from substance abuse, is an example of someone who got help for substance abuse.
As quoted by Fox 13 Salt Lake City, Trujillo stated, “Five years ago, I was given the opportunity to get into treatment rather than go to prison. Because of that opportunity, I have a good life today.”
Additionally, the expanded health insurance coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act is making drug abuse treatment options more available to the people of Utah.
If you or a loved one is a victim of Utah’s drug abuse statistics, please know that options are available.
At Alpine Recovery Lodge, we are here for you every step of the way. Contact us today to get started on your personal road to recovery.