Because of its reputation for family values, the state of Utah often isn’t the first place many think of when it comes to addiction and drug abuse. In reality, however, addiction is a serious issue in the state – and drug abuse in particular is a much larger issue than many would think.
At Renaissance Ranch, our addiction recovery programs are here for both substance abuse issues and other forms of addiction. Here are some facts that may shock you about drug abuse in Utah.
Prescription Death Increases
Since the turn of the millennium in the year 2000, prescription drug deaths in Utah have skyrocketed at scary rates. In fact, deaths due to prescription drugs have increased by an amazing 400 percent in that time. Utah ranked fifth-highest in the entire country for prescription drug overdose deaths between 2013 and 2015, a surprise to many. In addition, 80 percent of heroin users in Utah began with misuse of a prescription drug that acted as a gateway.
This is an alarming statistic that’s true of all Americans, not just substance abuse sufferers in Utah: Just one in every 10 people with a substance abuse disorder will receive proper addiction treatment for it. This is a huge issue that prevents a big portion of this population from receiving the help they need.
Of all the states in the US, Utah had the seventh-highest drug overdose rate between the years 2013 and 2015. Prescription medications often fall into a “gray” area in Utah, with many people believing they’re safe no matter what simply because they’re legal. Unfortunately, prescriptions can be widely addictive and have led to Utah becoming one of the most highly addicted states in the country. Six Utahns die every single week from an opioid overdose.
In the LDS faith members are taught to utilize prescriptions as directed and to steer clear of illegal substances. However, as we noted above, many people don’t view prescription medications as “drugs”. Due to the misuse of prescription medications, this is often the start of an addiction issue. This drug abuse commonly takes place when an injured or sick person is simply seeking relief from their symptoms.
Fortunately, there are treatment options available in Utah for prescription drug and all other addiction issues. To learn more, speak to our caregivers at Renaissance Ranch today.