DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s problems with fentanyl overdoses in the past three years make more sense given the share of its residents who have drug abuse disorders.
More than one in every ten Coloradans (10.44%) had a drug use disorder in 2021, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This is the seventh-highest rate among U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Only Alaska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Vermont and the District of Columbia have higher rates. In Alaska, nearly 13% of people 12 and older had a drug use disorder in 2021.
Coloradans’ attitudes toward drug use run the gamut from lenient to risky, depending on the drug in question. As an early legalizer of recreational marijuana, attitudes on marijuana use are lax. Fewer than one in five (18.15%) Coloradans over the age of 12 perceive a great risk from smoking marijuana once a month.
On the flip side, four out of five Coloradoans over the age of 12 (81.21%) perceive a great risk of trying heroin even once or twice. Despite its beer culture, Coloradans also have one of the higher perceptions of risk about alcohol, with 45.35% saying they perceive a great risk in having five or more drinks once or twice a week.
Coloradans are among the nation’s most tolerant when it comes to cocaine. Among Coloradans 12 or older, 60% perceive a great risk in using cocaine once a month, the sixth-lowest risk rate in the nation.