Substance misuse disorders are plaguing the United States more than ever. Unfortunately, certain states are disproportionately affected by it.  While there is no hard evidence linking the legalization of marijuana in Colorado to higher rates of addiction to other substances, there has been an overall trend in the state of more sufferers of these disorders for the past few years.

Thankfully, treatment options exist.  It might be intimidating to seek out help, but at the end of the day, it is worth it.  That all being said, let’s unpack what addiction is, how prevalent it is in Colorado, and what options for inpatient and outpatient care there are.

Understanding Addiction

It is no secret that drugs wreak havoc on our brains.  However, how exactly does this work?  There is a lot going on inside the mind that leads to this.  You can read more about it here if you would like: https://www.asam.org/quality-care/definition-of-addiction.  It is considered a chronic ailment by health care professionals.

There are several things that can lead to developing an addiction, or that can make you more inclined to become hooked on a substance.  Some of this is down to genetics.  If you have ever heard of an “addictive personality,” it’s real!

However, it is not really a “personality” trait.  Rather, it is a genetic predisposition for addiction.  While scientists are still researching to understand genes each day, there is some general consensus that our DNA makeup can influence how easily we get addicted to substances.

There are three prongs to the way that addiction impacts our brains.  The first is cravings.  Your brain forms a reward cycle with the substance in question.  Thus, without it, it starts to want it – hence feeling like you crave it.

Next, there is losing control over the use of the drug or substance.  This is pretty much what it sounds like – you cannot control how much you consume or when you do.  You just give in to the need to use it.

Finally, there is continuing the use of the substance even when it has significant negative consequences for the user.  This can manifest in a variety of ways, which I will detail further in the next section.  Just keep in mind that this is the basic structure of how addiction works.

Negative Consequences

Obviously, the negative impacts on your life (and on those around you) will depend on what substance or activity you are addicted to.  While activities like gambling can hook you, for the purpose of this article I will be focusing on substance misuse disorders.  Unfortunately, the consequences are many.

Depending on the drug, you could see a variety of physical manifestations of use.  For example, cocaine might result in damage to your nasal passages.  Intravenous drugs and the re-use of needles could even result in contracting HIV. 

Addiction in Colorado

There are also emotional tolls, though.  This could result in a person losing their job, their friends, and even severing relationships with family members.  If the addict has children, it could really stunt their development as well. 

You may find that you are irritable, depressed, or want to be alone.  To make money for the substance, stealing might become necessary in desperate situations.  Lying could become the new norm.

It is for these reasons that if you have a substance misuse disorder, you should consider seeking help.  There are a lot of options in Colorado if that is where you are looking.  For example, you could look at Mountain Springs Recovery and determine if it could be the right fit for you.  Just make sure you do your research before selecting a facility. 

Addiction in Colorado

Now, marijuana has been legal in this state for several years now.  The decriminalization of it has led to a lot fewer charges and jail time for people.  It is still important to keep in mind that marijuana can be an addictive substance, even if we are told it is not.

Notably, this state has some of the largest numbers of alcohol addiction and treatment in the entire United States.  This may be because mixing the former drug with drinking is fairly common, but that is likely not the only factor.  Experts are not entirely sure the reason behind the statistics, but to some extent the number of people seeking help is encouraging.

Some other drugs that have led to higher rates of treatment intakes are fentanyl, oxycodone, methadone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone.  Many of these are considered opioids.  Unfortunately, the statistics for this state are harrowing when it comes to these substances.

While you can read more about these figures here, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov, just keep in mind that the problem has not gotten much better in recent years.  This state retains one of the highest raids of overdose deaths in the country.

This is why it is so important to seek out help if you think you might be suffering from a substance misuse disorder.  They can sneak up on us, unfortunately.  However, once you or a loved one recognizes the signs, that is a good first step.  Admitting you have a problem can be the hardest part.

Treatment Solutions

As I have alluded to above, there are plenty of ways to get help with addictions.  This could include inpatient and outpatient programs.  Rehab services are generally considered inpatient.  Thankfully, many of them are covered by insurance programs these days – probably because they are medically necessary for a lot of individuals across the nation.

These facilities should contain mental health professionals and doctors who can aid you in the recovery process.  In particular, managing withdrawal symptoms is of high concern.  After all, some of these symptoms can be incredibly painful and hard to cope with on your own.

However you opt to get help, just know that you are making a great positive step forward in your life.  These programs are intended to help you return to your former life before the substance.  Getting sober can really make a huge difference.

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