OBH releases 2020 Colorado Drug Trends Report

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Admissions to treatment programs for alcohol, meth, prescription opioids and heroin use are up significantly from 2015, according to the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) Drug Trends analysis report.

The OBH evaluation team presented findings to the Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force on August 7, summarizing findings from a 10-year trend analysis based on substance use treatment data from OBH-licensed facilities. The analysis focused on the six main substances that comprise 98% of all substance use treatment records: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and prescription opioids.

Here are key findings from the report:

  • Alcohol is the leading substance for which people have sought treatment since 2010.

  • From 2015 through 2019, there was a 52% increase in treatment admissions with heroin listed as the primary substance, while treatment admissions with methamphetamine listed as the primary substance increased by 31%.

  • Marijuana treatment admissions have decreased by 17% between 2015 and 2019.

  • Twenty-five through 34-year-olds account for the highest volume of treatment admissions for the majority of substances.

  • Persons who identified as white and male continue to be the most frequent demographic admitted to treatment.

The table below summarizes the percent change in treatment admissions by drug:

Admissions for Treatment by Drug

 

Alcohol

Marijuana

Cocaine

Meth

Heroin

Rx Opioids

2015

14,084

6,549

1,619

7,724

5,655

2,004

2019

15,310

5,404

1,241

10,118

8,593

2,322

% change

+8.7%

-17.5%

-23.4%

+31.0%

+52.0%

+15.9%

A copy of the presentation can be found on the CDHS Behavioral Health Reports page. If you have questions about this report, please write Stephanie.Russell@state.co.us.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use, find resources and providers on the OBH website. You can also contact Colorado Crisis Services at 844- 493-TALK (8255), or text TALK to 38255. Our trained professionals provide free, immediate and confidential help 24/7, 365 days a year.