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Utah is home to 2,942,902 people from differing cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds1 Like in every state, people in Utah suffer from both substance abuse and mental health issues. Addiction plagues approximately 22.7 million people in the United States.2 In 2013, only a mere 2.5 million of those individuals got any kind of help for their substance abuse issues.3
The drug abuse climate across the state of Utah is actually somewhat better than national substance abuse rates. In the state, 6.24 percent of residents reported past-month use of an illicit drug while 8.02 percent of the rest of the country did.4 That being said, drug-related overdose deaths are still more common in Utah than across the nation. In the year 2007 alone, 546 lives were lost in Utah due directly to drug abuse.5
The most popularly abused class of drugs in Utah is stimulants, such as Adderall and methamphetamine.6 Nationwide, abuse of prescription stimulants led to around 23,000 treatment cases in American emergency departments in 2013.7 Some 35.6 percent of people who were admitted for treatment in Utah during 2013 cited alcohol as their primary substance of abuse.8 Just beneath at 22 percent, opioids come in at second place, methamphetamines in third at 19.9 percent, and marijuana in fourth place at 16.2 percent.9
Around 82,000 adults and 34,000 children have severe forms of mental illness in the state of Utah.10 Nationally, 42.5 million people have a mental health disorder.11 Half of all people with severe mental illness are engaging in substance abuse.12 The range of disorders is wide and includes everything from the mild and easily treated to complex cases of comorbidity.
Diagnoses of mental illnesses across the state among adults in 2013 are broken down as follows:
Drugs and alcohol complicate more than just co-occurring mental health issues; they can wreak serious havoc on the individual’s life. Some of the most common side effects of drug abuse include cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, and hallucinations. The most traumatic outcome is death, of course. Drug-related overdose deaths reached 44,000 in America in 2013 — around 13.8 per 100,000 people — and the drug related overdose death rate in Utah the following year reached 23.1 per 100,000 people. 13,14,15
Prescription drugs of are particular threat to the Beehive State, with 323 overdoses being related to these drugs in 2012.16 The popularity of these drugs has led many Utahans to abuse the more illicit opioid, heroin. The drug claimed 104 lives in 2012.17
Utah lost 362 residents to suicide in 2006, which is a low number when considering the national tally of 33,000 that year.18,19 That being said, that number has been on the rise, and it is likely due to a resurgence of abuse of stimulant drugs making their way across Mexican borders.
Between 2011 and 2013, Utah’s suicide rate was 20.6 per 100,000 people, much greater than the 12.5 per 100,000 person rate the US had over the same timespan.20 Mental illness often contributes to self-inflicted deaths and intentional overdoses, as well. However, many overdoses are deemed accidental.
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What starts out as experimenting at a party or using occasionally can quickly turn into a life-changing behavior that sparks a slew of legal ramifications. These issues apply to all kinds of people, even the 2.3 million who were are behind bars in American jails and prisons in 2010.21 Serious mental health disorders affect around 20 percent of all prison inmates.22 Substance abuse impacts an even larger figure at 30-60 percent.23
Drug crimes carry a wide range of penalties in Utah, including but not limited to six months in jail for the possession of even fewer than an ounce of marijuana.24 Possession of cocaine is considered a third-degree felony in the state of Utah, while the sale of it is a second-degree felony and bears the punishment of a maximum 15-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine.25
The punishment for getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol is hefty in Utah. In 2012 alone, 13,031 arrests were made for driving under the influence in the state.26 Thus, many people found out the hard way just how tough the penalty can be. A first offense may lighten the sentence, but you’ll spend at least two full days in jail and pay a minimum of $700 in fines, and that’s before the court revokes your license for six months.27 The second time around, you’ll be in a jail cell for 10 days or longer with an $800 bill from the local or state government.28 After that, another DUI will bring with it two months or more behind bars, a fine of $1,500 and up, and you’ll lose your license for two years.29
While you might think you wouldn’t make the same mistake more than once, many people do. Around a third of all people who are guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol have done it before.30
Many people are unaware of how connected Utah residents who abuse drugs are to the international drug trade. This becomes more apparent every year. The number of drug seizures continues to increase, and those substances being seized are traced back to Mexican borders time and time again. A seizure that took place in August 2014 turned up 31 pounds of heroin in Salt Lake City.31 In September 2015, a drug bust in Midvale resulted in a combined confiscation of $800,000 worth of heroin and meth, as well as five live grenades that could have otherwise caused serious harm.32
Around 95 percent of all methamphetamine in the United States has been smuggled into the country from international cartels, mostly from Mexico.33 Utah has taken action in the last couple decades to reform drug-prescribing practices and keep a tighter grip on the medical industry in effort to limit over-prescribing of these drugs. The Utah Controlled Substance Database Program went into effect in 1996 and has since monitored all Schedule II, III, IV, and V drugs in the state. During the 2008-2009 review year, almost 5 million records were attained on prescriptions within the state.34
There are 225 drug and alcohol and mental health treatment facilities in the state of Utah.35 Of them, 171 offer outpatient care, and 63 cater to individuals who prefer residential treatment options.36
Outpatient treatment is more suitable for certain people who must maintain certain life responsibilities while in treatment. The ability to attend support group meetings and therapy during specific daytime hours or evening hours, so people can remain employed or at home with children, is an important necessity that the drug treatment field offers. Likewise, some people need more intensive treatment that simply cannot be managed in just a few hours a day, and so residential care is most suitable for them. Those who are in even more serious situations that warrant hospitalized inpatient care have 16 facilities to choose from.37 Those individuals who feel like they are having a hard time coping with life outside of rehab and need a buffer period with extra protection before returning home can take advantage of sober companions and sober living facilities — of which there are 134 in Utah alone.38
In 2013, 90,956 adults and 12,106 youths were in need of substance abuse treatment in Utah.39 Only 16 percent of them got that treatment.40 Treatment admissions citing heroin abuse have significantly risen in the state over the last couple decades. In 1993, just 346 people were admitted to Utah treatment centers noting heroin as a substance of abuse.41 In 2013, there were 2,606, which accounted for around 15 percent of all admissions to addiction treatment units in the state that year.42
Treatment facilities must follow strict regulations to remain in operation without penalty. Individuals who are working at rehab centers have undergone thorough screening to ensure their credentials are valid and up to par with what the state deems necessary to render specific forms of treatment. You cannot work as a licensed addictions counselor in the state of Utah without first completing required coursework from an accredited college or university in addition to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical work in the field and passing all required examinations.43 For more information on treatment in Utah, visit the Utah Substance Abuse Advisory Council.
Utah stands at the center of cutting-edge research regarding addiction recovery.That is due, in part, to the hard work done by a team of researchers at the University of Utah. The Utah Addiction Center at the University of Utah is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of addiction, according to the school’s website. That means the teams there conduct a great deal of addiction research, and they teach classes on addiction recovery.
Since Utah has access to such a wealth of addiction knowledge, it is not surprising that there are a number of treatment facilities in the area. Setting up shop here could mean providing people with cutting-edge addiction solutions they may not be able to get anywhere else. These are the top 25 treatment options available.
As mentioned, Utah is home to a large number of addiction treatment facilities. In fact, there are hundreds of treatment options open to you within the state, and there are hundreds more in neighboring states. This list may help you get started on your addiction recovery research.