Utah probably isn’t the first place you think of when you think of drug abuse.
That’s probably because most people aren’t aware of the rampant drug abuse problem in the predominantly Mormon state. In fact, the following statistics on drug abuse in Utah might just shock you.
1. Out of all 50 US States, Utah had the Seventh-Highest Drug Overdose Rate in the US 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.
Unfortunately, the addictiveness of many prescription pills, including opioid pain medications, in particular, has led to Utah becoming one of the most addicted states in the nation. That, in turn, has led to six Utahns dying every week from an opioid overdose.
2. Prescription Drug Deaths in Utah have Increased by 400 Percent since 2000.
While most people will be surprised by this statistic, medical professionals and policymakers who have been following the trend of prescription drug abuse will not be. In fact, 80 percent of heroin users in Utah started with misuse of a prescription drug. And from 2013-2015, Utah ranked fifth-highest in the nation for prescription drug overdose deaths.
3. With 60 Percent of Utah Residents Being Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Many People Affected by Pill Addiction in Utah are Mormon.
Drug use is strictly forbidden in the LDS community, but many people don’t view medications prescribed by a doctor as being an illicit substance. Sadly, many drug addictions start innocently, with an injured or sick person simply seeking relief from their painful symptoms.
In the worst cases, some pill addicts eventually turn to street drugs like heroin when they realize it is a cheaper way to get their fix. Some people turn to multiple substances as well. In fact, in 2012, 49 percent of people enrolled in substance abuse treatment were treated for both drug and alcohol problems.
4. Only 1 in 10 People With a Substance Abuse Disorder Receives Treatment.
This statistic applies to all Americans, including substance abuse sufferers in Utah. Most people who need help for their drug addiction do not receive it, in Utah and nationwide. This is a sad fact, considering that many effective treatment options exist.
(Source: Trust for America’s Health 2013 report: Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic)
Treating Utah’s Addiction Problem
On the bright side, public policy on the issue of Utah’s drug abuse problem is starting to turn around, with some judges recommending addicts receive treatment rather than jail time.
Damian Trujillo, a recovering addict, is an example of a Utah resident who got help for his drug addiction. 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 there are options available to you. At Alpine Recovery Lodge, we accept all types of insurance. There is a good chance that your insurance will cover a portion or the entirety of your stay at our premier residential treatment center. Click here to learn more about our insurance billing process.