Colorado Drug Rehab

Colorado drug rehab centers are some of the most stable facilities available, and they all have one purpose; to get you clean from the drugs that have taken over your life. Colorado is well-known for its beautiful landscapes and scenery, but in recent years Colorado has become a target spot for drug trafficking to take place.

Colorado law enforcement has done a very good job of lowering the drug usage and trafficking in the state. In the early 2000’s, Colorado had double the arrests for drug possession or drug-related offenses than they have now. Due to the decrease of drugs coming into the state, many people do not have as many contacts to obtain the drugs they desire, but for some, it is still easy to satisfy their cravings.  It is amazing that regardless of efforts by so many dedicated individuals and agencies to increase awareness about the dangers of these drugs, new addiction cases continue to rise and thousands of needless deaths occur daily.

The Growing Need for Drug Rehab Centers

As long as prescription drugs continued to be used and sold illicitly, and drugs such as heroin and cocaine are brought into the state by drug lords from Canada and California, this problem will not go away. Most of the drugs in the United States have been smuggled through the borders of the surrounding countries. These get sold to young teens or to American drug dealers that sell the drugs on the streets. To make matters worse, there are newer, more powerful, more deadly concoctions arriving on the market at a steady pace, making it difficult to keep treatment programs equipped to battle the onslaught. For this reason, there is a growing need for Colorado drug rehab centers.

Colorado and Addiction

The use of illegal drugs continues to be a constant source of problems for law enforcement officials throughout the United States. Although Colorado has recently enacted legislation to legalize the use of marijuana, good citizens are still plagued with the adverse effects of the use of other illegal drugs. According to the Trust for America’s Health, Colorado ranks number 24 in the nation when it comes to individuals dying from overdosing on illegal drugs. A study called Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic states that for every 100,000 people living in Colorado, 12.7 of them will die from drug overdose.

Colorado State Overview

Colorado has a total population of approximately 5,200,000 individuals. On average, people who live in Colorado earn about $52,000 a year. The capital of Colorado is Denver. The state itself is divided into 63 unique counties.

The drug market in Colorado is concentrated on the Front Range counties. Denver, the world-renowned capital of Colorado, has been at the center of Colorado’s drug production and distribution. Additionally, cities like Colorado Springs play a prominent role in the allocation of methamphetamines, cocaine, and heroin. Greeley, a city that is approximately 45 minutes north of Denver, has also played a huge role in the distribution of drugs in northern states such as Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Iowa.

One of the reasons why Colorado has been attractive for individuals involved in the drug trade is because the state has a well-developed infrastructure. Roads, bridges, and other forms of transportation are readily available and well maintained in the state. Additionally, the state’s location, in approximately the center of the country, makes it the ideal waypoint for any other state in the country. Individuals transporting drugs through Colorado use varied modes to transport their drugs. This would include personal vehicles, vehicles that are rented locally in Colorado, as well as public transportation, such as trains and buses.

Colorado is home to one of the largest airport complexes in the United States. In addition to its main international airport, Colorado is sprinkled with many smaller airports. All of this has made Colorado an attractive option for drug carriers. Federal law enforcement agencies commented that drugs from outside the country are usually not brought into Colorado via the airport. However, the airport has been used to transport drugs from states such as California, New York, and Texas to Colorado. These drugs are then distributed within Colorado and to neighboring states.

The Interstates 25, 70, and 76 are among the primary interstates that are used by drug traffickers. Drug traffickers from Mexico will often traffic through Interstate 25 and 70. Interstate 25 is used because it runs from the Mexican border all the way to Montana.

Colorado Prescription Drug Abuse

Since the end of last century, prescription drugs have outranked cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines as the number one cause of overdoses among Colorado residents. Between 1999 to the present day, Colorado has seen a more than 50 percent increase in the amount of individuals who have suffered fatalities because of the misuse of prescription drugs.

According to a report published by the Executive Office to the President of United States, Colorado’s drug-related deaths and drug use have exceeded the national average for the past few years. According to this same report, it’s estimated that approximately 12 percent of Colorado’s residents have used illegal drugs in the previous year. This is compared to the 8 percent who use illegal drugs on average in the rest of the country.

Prior to recent legislation passed to legalize marijuana, marijuana was the number one illegal drug that led to individuals seeking drug treatment in Colorado. Now, with the legalization of marijuana, these statistics will be adjusted, and this will no doubt change Colorado’s ranking on the list of states with the most illegal drug use.

Between the calendar years 2007 and 2008, Colorado ranked among the top 10 states for the use of illegal drugs for individuals between the ages of 12 and up, and also between individuals who were 18 to 25. Among these people, marijuana was also the illegal drug of choice.

However, even without taking into consideration the use of marijuana, Colorado still ranked above average when it came to the percentage of adults who used illegal drugs. The national average for adults who used illegal drugs outside of marijuana was 3.58 percent. However, in, Colorado the number of adults who fell into the same category was 4.57 percent.

Drugs were reported to be the direct cause of death for more than 740 individuals in Colorado in the 2007 calendar year. This number is striking when compared to the number of individuals who died from gunshots or from automobile accidents. The number of individuals who died from automobile accidents in 2007 was 593. The number of individuals who died from firearm use that same year was 505. Again, in the category of drug-related deaths, Colorado exceeded the national average. The national average for 2007 was 12.7 individuals for every 100,000 who lived in the state. In, Colorado the average was 15.4 deaths per every 1000 individuals who lived in the state. This is according to the information that was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2007.

In the year 2010, the report prepared by the Treatment Episode Data Set Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration gave the following breakdown of individuals who admitted themselves into drug treatment facilities in Colorado.

  • Individuals admitted for marijuana use approximately 5,800
  • Individuals admitted to the abuse of stimulants nearly 4,500
  • Individuals admitted for cocaine abuse approximately 2,700
  • Individuals admitted for heroin abuse approximately 1,900
  • Individuals admitted for other opiate abuse approximately 1,850
  • Individuals admitted for all other types of drug abuse about 850

Prescription Drug’s Growth in Popularity

Around the country, prescription drugs are quickly becoming the number one drug of choice for illicit use. The Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan enacted by the federal government has been designed to reduce the use of prescription drugs among US citizens. The hope is that by focusing on state-based initiatives, including the monitoring of the use of prescription drugs, the sale of prescription drugs, and the introduction of prescription drugs into a state from outside sources, that the government will be able to minimize their use.

Prescription drug monitoring programs are designed to do the following things:

  • Provide assistance for patients addicted to prescription drugs
  • Provide early warning signs of drug abuse in patients and population sectors
  • Identify prescription drug fraud by monitoring insurance use

As of the year 2005, Colorado has set up electronic monitoring programs for their prescription drugs. The result of this has been the creation of large databases designed to encourage collaboration between pharmacies within Colorado, and pharmacies outside of Colorado. The goal is to monitor prescription drugs that are being shipped to Colorado from outside sources. The hope is that by collecting this information, the professionals who work with drug rehabilitation will have a better understanding of what prescription drugs are being used in the state, and with this information, they will be better armed to provide adequate care. This is based on information from the Colorado Department Of Regulatory Assets Board of Pharmacy.

Governmental agencies understand that the only way that they are going to be able to combat the use of illegal prescription drugs is if they create a comprehensive plan. This plan must include both monitoring of the introduction of prescription drugs into the state of Colorado, and also providing patients with a way to safely dispose of prescription drugs that are expired or that they no longer need. Currently, the state of Colorado is working in conjunction with the DEA to create a program that will allow Colorado residents to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs in a way that will not make them accessible to individuals who would want to use them for illegal reasons, while at the same time providing education about the importance of safe and efficient drug return and disposal.

Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs

Driving while under the influence of drugs has had a significant impact on the safety of Colorado’s roads. According to the NHTSA, in 2007 eight individuals who were driving at night were pulled over and shown to be positive for illicit drugs. This trend, according to the Fatal Accident Reporting System, has led to more than 30 percent of Colorado’s fatal car accidents being linked to individuals who tested positive for drugs in the year 2009. For this reason, Colorado’s local law enforcement is working in harmony with federal programs to increase awareness among Colorado’s drivers about the dangers of driving while drugged. Additionally, law enforcement agents in Colorado are receiving intensified training to help them to identify drivers who are driving under the influence of drugs. The final step in this attack against driving while impaired is to follow up the arrest with effective prosecution and punishment. It is hoped that this will serve to dissuade other drivers from engaging in the same conduct.

According to the document State-By-State Analysis of Laws Dealing with Driving under the Influence of Drugs, one of the complaints that law enforcement officials in Colorado often make the law is connected to driving while under the influence of drugs is that, while all 50 states have made it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, Colorado is one of the 33 states that does not have a per se standard for driving while under the influence of drugs.

Colorado does have laws that are designed to curb driving while under the influence. For example, section 42 – 2-1301{[1] of the Colorado legal code does make it a misdemeanor for individuals to drive while impaired by drugs. It is also illegal for persons who have a habit of using drugs to drive a motor vehicle. In Colorado the term ‘driving under the influence’ is used to define an individual who was driving after using any substance that has impaired their ability to react physically, to make clear mental decisions, to control their body movements, or to safely operate a vehicle.

Working in High-Density Drug Trafficking Areas

As with all communities across the globe, there are certain areas in Colorado where drug trafficking is more prevalent than in others. The High-Density Drug Trafficking Program (HIDTA) has been designed to help law enforcement officials, both local and state, to work together to take advantage of technologies and focus their attention on fighting the traffic of drugs in these areas.

In Colorado, there are areas that the HIDTA has identified as areas where drug trafficking is more prevalent. Therefore, they have focused more of their attention on these regions. The following is a list of these counties:

  • Adams County
  • Arapahoe County
  • Boulder County
  • Denver County
  • Douglas County
  • Eagle County
  • El Paso County
  • Garfield County
  • Grand County
  • Jefferson County
  • La Plata County
  • Laimbeer County
  • Mesa County
  • Moffat County
  • Pueblo County
  • Routt County
  • Weld County

The HIDTA in Rocky Mountain has focused attention on these counties. They have worked to help law enforcement officials in these counties to coordinate with each other, to engage in advanced training, and to work to facilitate the easy exchange of information between law enforcement officials in these counties who are fighting drug trafficking. The local highway patrol agencies have received training on the importance of criminal interdiction. This has been supplemented by increased investigation and follow-up by local detectives. The hope is that by working together, and having what has been dubbed the “all crime” approach to drug trafficking in the area, the problem can be addressed.

The goal is to create a network where information regarding all of the crimes committed in the state can be consolidated, and easier access, to information on these crimes can be provided to all criminal agencies and with the Colorado Fusion Center.

Additionally, the HIDTA is working on plans to work in conjunction with all law enforcement agencies and with teams of people focused on a financial investigation to identify and sees all assets that have been purchased with funds earned through illegal drug trafficking.

The ONDCP has been working with different media outlets to provide Colorado’s youth with a consistent anti-drug message. With campaigns, such as their Above the Influence campaign, this organization hopes to encourage and inspire young people who live in high-density drug trafficking areas in Colorado and around the country to avoid and reject the temptation to use illegal drugs and to get involved in under age drinking.

Legalizing Marijuana in Colorado

In 2012, Colorado Gov. John  Hickenlooper signed the legislation that ended the state prohibition on marijuana use. Amendment 64 has been extremely popular in Colorado since it allowed Colorado homeowners to cultivate and use marijuana legally as long as they were 21 years of age and older.

Amendment 64 set Colorado apart from all of the other states in the union, not solely because it legalized marijuana’s use, but because it also paved the way for the first legalized market and distribution of marijuana in the United States since marijuana’s prohibition came into effect. As a result of this legislation, and the bumper crop of marijuana distribution facilities, Colorado has seen a stark increase in the tax revenue that they have garnered.

Additionally, the fact that Colorado has removed the criminal penalties for marijuana use has meant that the state has been able to save millions of dollars in law enforcement. According to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, in the year 2012, the state of Colorado was able to save between $12 million and $40 million. Some less conservative estimates put the amount of money that was saved by not using law enforcement to in force marijuana prohibition at $60 million.

It is estimated that prior to the repeal of the marijuana prohibition, annually Colorado was arresting approximately 10,000 of its citizens for relatively minor marijuana possession. Many have seen Colorado’s approach to marijuana possession as a role model for the rest of the country. Nationally, more than 750,000 individuals are arrested annually for marijuana use. This breaks down to approximately one person every 40 seconds. Nationwide more than 50 percent of drug arrests are for marijuana use. Of those arrests, more than 90 percent of them for marijuana use falls within the categories that are now legal in Colorado.

Law enforcement officers nationally make more arrests for marijuana possession every year than they do for all violent crimes that are committed throughout the country combined. Reports show that in Colorado the enforcement of marijuana prohibition has disproportionately affected minority communities. African-Americans in Colorado were four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession and use, and Latinos in Colorado were two times as likely to be arrested than whites for marijuana use and possession. Neither group has been shown to use marijuana in higher percentages than their white counterparts. So it is thought that this legislation will go a long way in promoting fairness in law enforcement in Colorado.

The Answer to Living a Drug-Free Life

The rehabilitation centers in Colorado are some of the nicest in the country, and the staff at these facilities always does their best to make sure each client is treated with respect and gets the highest level of care possible. Anyone addicted to drugs will find that Colorado drug rehab centers are the answer to a drug free and fulfilling life.

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