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Utah Drug Statistics and Facts

  • According to the Treatment Episode Data Set, there were 14,951 Utah residents who went to drug and alcohol rehab in 2010. 70.2 percent were male, and 29.8 percent were female.
  • In 2006, the number of drug and alcohol treatment centers in Utah, has increased from 118 in 2003 to 133 in 2006, according to the National Survey of Substance.
  • Across the last 15 years, in Utah, there has been a steady decreased in the number of admissions mentioning alcohol as the main substance of abuse but there have been increases in the mentions of Marijuana and Heroin. The distinctive increase has been in the number of treatment entries with Meth.
  • Alcohol-only admissions had declined from over 56 percent of all admissions in 1992 to just over 20 percent in 2006.
  • Unintentional deaths due to overdoses of prescription opioids, in Utah, (prescription painkillers) rose steadily from 2000 to 2007.
  • Beginning in about the year 2001, deaths of Utah citizens from non-illicit drug poisoning (accidental or intent not determined) have increased from about 50 deaths every year in 1999 to over 200 in 2003. Preliminary analyses indicate the problem has continued in 2004 and 2005.
  • Starting in 2006, more Utah citizens died from prescription drug overdose than from motor vehicles accidents every year. However, starting in 2008, deaths from prescription overdoses have begun to decline.
  • In 2003, prescription drug overdose deaths also began to outnumber non-prescription drug overdose deaths, in Utah. In 2010, prescription drugs were involved in 81 percent of all overdose deaths. Most prescription drug deaths involve prescription pain medication.
  • In 2007, Utah rates of adult prescription medication abuse were higher than national rates.
  • In an analysis, of deaths from 1999-2003, in Utah, Methadone was implicated in 33 percent, Oxycodone in 22 percent, Hydrocodone in 17 percent, and fentanyl in 5 percent of deaths.
  • In 2007 and 2008, Utahs rate was similar to the national rate for prescription drug medications. Non-medical use of prescription pain medication has also been decreasing among Utah youth since 2007. During this time, adolescent Marijuana use has been increasing.
  • In Utah, 2,394 people went to drug treatment in 2010 for Marijuana abuse. 12 to 17 years olds comprised the largest age group or 42.5 percent of those who received treatment for Marijuana.
  • In the 44 deaths where a prescription drug was available to determine the origin of treatment, death occurred within 1 week of that prescription in nearly 70 percent of decedents, in Utah.
  • Stimulants, including Meth, are the most frequently cited drugs among main drug treatment admissions in Utah. There were 2,480 people that went to treatment for amphetamine/stimulant addiction in 2010.
  • Prescription drug abuse is a critical problem in Utah, mostly in Salt Lake City, which has 1 of the highest prescription drug abuse rates in the nation.
  • Since the 2003 and 2004 surveys, Utah has ranked among those states with the highest rates for recreational use of painkillers among those age 12 and older.
  • Outdoor Marijuana cultivation is widespread, most notably on public lands in Colorado and Utah where Mexican drug trafficking organizations are expanding their outdoor operations.
  • In 2007, Drug-induced deaths (20.6 per 100,000 population) exceeded the national rate, as a direct consequence of drug use, 546 persons died in Utah.
  • In 2008, there were 259 Opioid related drug overdose deaths, in Utah, a 14.0 percent decrease from 2007. This remained relatively stable during 2009 at 265 unintentional, Opioid related deaths.
  • Lifetime use rates of Meth and painkillers are significantly higher, in Utah, in the 18 to 24 year old age group in comparison to other age groups.