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Colorado Drug Addiction
alcoholism addiction

Colorado Drug Addiction

Colorado has become a major center for drug cartels for a variety of reasons, leading to more incidences of Colorado drug addiction. The legalization of marijuana as one reason that cartels have set up shop to be able to take the drug to other states from one that has legalized it already. They set up networks of distributors that can involve street gangs that peddle the drugs in Colorado and elsewhere. However, marijuana abuse is just one of Colorado’s worries. Colorado drug addiction in Colorado includes methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription opioids/opiates sold on the black market. Cocaine abuse, though, has declined in Colorado to a low of 5.5 percent of all admissions for the first six months of 2013.

Methamphetamines Tops the List

Aside from marijuana and alcohol, methamphetamine is the top Colorado drug addiction and is on Schedule II. It is known as “Crystal Meth” and can be so addictive that it hooks a person on the first try. It is classified as a central nervous system stimulant. It is readily available in the Colorado area at even 90 percent purity and possesses a big danger to law enforcement. The rush addicts get from taking meth is very short-lived, but very intense. Thus, many addicts either do several hits in a row or combine it with other drugs, like cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy, into a more deadly cocktail to keep the high going. Upon withdrawal, the drug gives the user intense cravings which lead to more drug abuse. This is what hooks a person, more than anything else. In an effort to provide relief from withdrawal symptoms that can include severe depression, psychotic episodes along with intense cravings for the drug, the user has to go back to using meth.


Health Risks Associated With Meth Use


Meth addicts typically end up so hooked that they neglect eating and do the drugs for days. They can experience paranoia and psychotic episodes, even up to 90 days after taking the drug. The drug hangs around in the blood system that long. Users are sometimes identifiable because of “meth mouth” which is rampant tooth decay due to using the drug. They may have scabs all over their skin from picking at it, believing they feel imaginary insects burrowing in it. Since it is a central nervous stimulant, abuse of it puts additional strain on the heart, which can lead to cardiovascular system damage. When on the drug, they have faulty judgement and can put themselves in risky situations, exposing themselves to AIDs or hepatitis. Mood disturbances are common, even when they’re not using the drug. While using it, they can be very hostile and aggressive too and end up creating potentially dangerous situations for themselves and others when law enforcement becomes involved.

Treatment Options for Meth

Meth addicts require medical assistance to kick the drug. They need to put on a course of methadone to help them manage the withdrawal symptoms and lessen the cravings as they detox. This drug can then be tapered off and that will eventually allow them to kick the habit. However, since the drug remains in the system for a long period of time, the likelihood is high that they will experience a relapse. Thus, the most successful way to kick the habit is to do inpatient rehab and undergo, cognitive behavioral training, counseling, and relapse prevention training too.

Heroin Follows Meth in Colorado Drug Addiction

Heroin is not far behind meth in the number of drug addiction cases in Colorado, even though it is on Schedule I, giving it a higher potential for abuse that meth. Heroin has been an increasing problem as regulations tighten on prescription drugs on the black market, like OxyContin and Vicodin. Heroin takes their place as a cheaper opioid that is easier to get. As an opioid, it has a numbing effect that is pleasant, even euphoric, like morphine. Users develop a tolerance to it over time that creates the need for higher dosages to get the same effect, and this leads to the addiction.

Health Risks Associated with Heroin

Since the drug binds to the opioid receptors in the brain that also impact the respiratory system, users can experience shallow breathing. If they experience hypoxia, a lack of oxygen to the brain for some time, they can suffer brain damage or neurological problems in the long and short-term. Addicts also can lose control of their bodies and end up kicking convulsively during withdrawal. The user will neglect meals and seek the drug compulsively, and end up taking more and more of it to get the same effects, leading to the potential for overdose. This can put them in a coma and even kill them.

Treatment Options for Heroin

Medical detox is recommended for heroin addicts in a residential treatment program. This will help lessen withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous and severe. It will also reduce cravings for the drug and help get them on the long road back to rehabilitation in an addiction recovery program.

Cocaine Abuse Is Declining in Colorado

Cocaine is a stimulant, on Schedule II, that is going out of favor in Colorado. It is often cut with levamisole, reducing purity levels and the quality of the drug. That, along with a sporadic supply and higher street prices, is making it less desirable for users trying to get a quick, cheap, and high. Cocaine abuse can result in depression and mood swings which are treated during rehabilitation with an anti-depressant. As a stimulant, it can cause a heart attack or a stroke. It also leads to risky behavior, like having multiple sexual partners with no protection. There is no medical detox for cocaine abuse, but it is treated with regular drug addiction treatment programs in Colorado.

Colorado drug addiction can be a big problem for the user who does not know that they can’t successfully quit on their own. Street drugs like heroin and meth have a unique hold on the addict that requires medical supervision in order to get clean.

Professional Help

If you or someone you love is in the throes of Colorado drug addiction, seek treatment now from a variety of rehabilitation centers to take the first step to turn your life around.