Utah has the distinction of being the most religiously homogenized state in America. This means that more people are of one religion here than anywhere else in the country. Beginning in 1847, tens of thousands of Mormon settlers moved across the country to settle in Utah after facing persecution in the East. Today, about 63 percent of the state’s residents are still Mormon, and this provides a common basis for cooperation and understanding.
One of the key tenets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is that recreational, illicit drug use is forbidden. Due to this, the state of Utah overall has a very strong anti-drug atmosphere. In this day and age, however, drug use has chipped away at the foundations of even age-old traditions such as not using drugs. Even Utah, then, is dealing with drug use among many of its residents.
Here are several other facts about the state of drug addiction and drug rehab in Utah.
Utah Drug Fact Statistics
The following is an overview of the drug use problem in the state of Utah:
- Between 2009-2010, Utah was one of the top ten states for cocaine use among teenagers between 12 and 17.
- 5.6 percent of Utah residents admit to using illegal drugs in the past month, which is lower than the national average of 8.82 percent of Americans in general.
- While the number of Utah residents that uses drugs is lower than the national average, the number of residents that die from their drug use is much higher. In Utah, 18.2 out of every 100,000 people die as a direct result of using drugs, whereas the national average is 12.8 people per 100,000.
Utah Drugs of Abuse
Even though its drug use rates are low, Utah’s inhabitants still struggle with drug use just like every state. The following figures illustrate what drugs are being abused in recent years.
- Meth is the most-used drug in Utah, in terms of drug treatment admission rates. The drug was responsible for 30 percent of all treatment admissions as of 2011.
- Heroin is on the rise, and it is currently responsible for 23 percent of all treatment admissions.
- Marijuana is currently declining in use. Only about 26 percent of all admissions are for this drug, after a high of about 34 percent in 1999.
- Cocaine and crack are slowly but surely declining in usage and in treatment admissions. They now account for less than all other drugs in the state, at about 8 percent.
- Prescription drugs such as opioid painkillers are also creeping upward in their reach and influence. These drugs are currently responsible for about 10 percent of all drug treatment admissions.
Utah Drug News
The rise of prescription drug abuse in Utah has been devastating to many families. According to Kye Nordfelt, the coordinator for the Substance Misuse and Abuse Reduction Team, more people are dying in Utah from prescription drug abuse than all automobile accidents combined. In order to combat this trend, counties in Utah have been running a program to take back unused prescription drugs from the patients they have been prescribed to. Nordfelt says that Utah County recently hit a milestone of taking back 1 million pain pills. This is 1 million potentially deadly drugs not sitting around in medicine cabinets to be abused.
For More Information on Utah Drug Treatment
Read more on our site to get more information about drug addiction and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Just getting educated is the first step toward being able to take control of drug abuse in your community and in your own life.
Utah Sources & Information Resources
WhiteHouse.gov – Utah Drug Control Update: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_utah_0.pdf
Upr.org – Utah County Gathers and Disposes of 1 Million Prescription Drugs: http://upr.org/post/utah-county-gathers-and-disposes-1-million-prescription-drugs