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The late folk singer John Denver sang of a "Colorado Rocky Mountain High," where mellow feelings came from simply enjoying the beauty of nature that was found in that State. Unfortunately, some Colorado residents have chosen to get their "high" in other ways, all of them illegal. The preceding statement is truly not meant to sound flippant; substance abuse is no joke. However, pretending it does not exist does not help either, as statistics prove otherwise.

43,107 Colorado residents were surveyed concerning their drug use. Of that number, alcohol abuse was reported by 29,862, with 4,007 of that number also admitting to both alcohol and drug use. Substance abuse was also reported in other drugs. These included cocaine that was ingested through smoking (this is what would commonly be known as "crack" cocaine), as well as cocaine that was taken in through injection or other methods of administration. 1,095 of the 43,107 residents in the survey admitted to "crack" use; 808 admitted to other types of cocaine use. Marijuana users numbered 3,818. Heroin and methamphetamine was the "drug of choice" for 1,110 and 1,511 people respectively.

A very interesting fact about methamphetamine use occurred in this survey, and this was not the first time this has been noted. Meth use is almost evenly split between males and females. 53.7% of male Colorado residents admitted to meth use; 44.9% of females said they used meth. Elsewhere, the numbers showed that a higher number of males used other substances than female; alcohol only abuse was highest (79.3% of males).

The statistics compiled in this survey were further broken down into age groups. It is here that the numbers get a little disturbing, although all of them are cause for concern. The number of adolescents, 12 to 17 years old, who were admitted to drug and alcohol abuse treatment centers (29.6%) were there for marijuana addiction. No other drug across any other age range had a substance abuse admission figure that high.

It should be noticed that the State of Colorado does have a State law regulating the use and possession of a small amount for medicinal purposes only. As long as the amount of marijuana falls within the range set by the State for that purpose, it is not against the law to possess or use it.

For those who cannot use a legitimate medical excuse for abusing any drug in any form, there are, thankfully, drug and alcohol treatment centers located throughout the State of Colorado. Drug rehabilitation is available for anyone with any type of drug addiction.

Drug and alcohol treatment centers in Colorado do find themselves having to design and implement programs that address meth addiction in particular ways. This is because the meth that is available in Colorado is of a higher potency than that of other states. This means that addiction is stronger, and the chances for overdose are higher.

This is especially disconcerting when one remembers that meth is almost always instantly addictive. Many people who use meth for the very first time find themselves immediately addicted, as opposed to those who use other drugs. Addiction from those can occur upon first use; however, in most cases, a person must continue to use the drug in order for addiction to happen.

That being said, drug and alcohol treatment facilities must also provide treatment programs aimed at adolescents, as the admission rate for marijuana use is so high among that age group. For this reason, some drug and alcohol treatment centers may be designed to accept and treat adolescents only. This can be especially beneficial to those teenagers who have decided to stop using marijuana, as they will be among those their own age with similar problems, and staff members will be trained in communicating and working with adolescents.

http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofacts/methamphetamine.html

http://hschealth.uchsc.edu/ahec/fas/pdf/13MaternalSubstanceAbuseTreatme.pdf

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