The state of Utah is home to over 3 million people, with around a third of the population residing in the capital Salt Lake City. Like most American states, Utah is home to many people who suffer from drug abuse and mental health problems. This blog offers some important substance abuse statistics for Utah and across the nation.
Substance use disorders are when the recurrent use of alcohol or drugs causes significant damage to a person's health, work, school, or family life. Illicit drug disorders are types of substance use disorders that involve illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Alcohol use disorders are substance use disorders involving alcohol.
In November 2021, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing that drug overdose deaths in the United States in a 12-month period had reached over 100,000 for the first time, a 29% increase on the previous year. While the increase in Utah (20%) was slightly lower than the national average, substance abuse and drug overdoses are nevertheless pervasive problems throughout the state.
According to SAMSHA, in 2017-2019:
The United States is currently in the grip of a crisis of drug overdoses. Opioid substances (drugs derived or manufactured from the seeds of the opium poppy) are the driving factor behind these deaths, causing many commentators to refer to the public health crisis as the opioid epidemic.
The opioid epidemic began in the late 1990s when pharmaceutical companies persuaded health providers that synthetic opioid prescription painkillers had a low risk of addiction compared to natural opioids like heroin. Within years, millions of people in the US state were addicted to opioids. In recent years, the production of fentanyl, a highly potent opioid that is 50 times the strength of heroin, has perpetuated the crisis.
Like every state, Utah has been deeply affected by the crisis. Although in 2020, the opioid dispensing rate had fallen to 48.4 per 100 people (down from 87 in 2006), the devasting effects of the epidemic continue.
Federal and state institutions have responded to the nationwide drug overdose crisis with numerous strategies, initiatives, and billions of dollars of funding for the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. In recent years, the number of people accessing treatment has increased significantly and extensive research has uncovered several medical and psycho-therapeutic treatment methods.
Over half of people with a substance use disorder also live with a co-occurring mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression. If untreated, these conditions can drive substance abuse. People may turn to substances as a coping mechanism for psychological distress, putting them at risk of developing drug or alcohol dependence and addiction.
Likewise, substance misuse may cause or exacerbate mental health concerns. Substances like alcohol, heroin, or cocaine all affect our brain chemistry. Our brains function on a delicate balance of different chemicals that help cells communicate and regulate essential functions, such as memory, emotion, and movement. Disrupting this balance can have dramatic and severe consequences, potentially causing symptoms of depression, anxiety, psychosis, and other mental health disorders.
Because of the link between substance abuse and mental illness, supporting the mental health of the nation play an important role in preventing drug abuse. Unfortunately, many Utah residents live with mental health concerns. Data suggests that:
Understanding the causes of drug abuse and mental illness is key to effective prevention and treatment. Some of the main environmental factors include:
Cirque Lodge is a luxury rehab center in the heart of the Rocky Mountains of Utah. We offer one of the nation's most exclusive, advanced, and reputable recovery programs.
Our mountain lodge and state-of-the-art studio provide a serene, modern setting that draws on the healing powers of nature. We deliver enriching recovery experiences where you can reconnect with your inner self, develop new passions, and rediscover your love of life.
Our individualized treatment programs combine clinical treatments with experiential therapies, addressing the needs of the entire person. The 12-step philosophy of addiction recovery underpins every treatment plan. We have all the expertise and resources you need to break free from addiction and enjoy a lifetime of sobriety.
Many of our staff are in recovery themselves, so we understand what it's like to live with drug or alcohol addiction. We treat every client with compassion, respect, and without judgment. When you enter Cirque Lodge, you become part of our community - a community that stays with you long after you leave the center. Our unrivaled alumni program of events, retreats, and reunions offers ongoing support and inspiration to guide you through the years ahead.
If you or a loved one is living with addiction, contact us today. Our team of compassionate experts is on hand to answer any questions you may have and explore the next steps. You're ready to make the change.