FACT SHEET for Fast Facts

PREVALENCE
• The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) showed Denver to have higher reported adult (18 and over) past 30-day alcohol use and past 30-day binge alcohol use than Colorado and the US from 2002 through 2005. For example, in 2005 Denver’s reported past 30-day alcohol use was 65 % vs. 62.2% and 56.2% for Colorado and the US, respectively; and Denver’s reported past 30-day binge alcohol use was 17.8% vs. 16.2% and 14.4% for Colorado and the US, respectively.

• The 2004 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health (NHSDUH) used an extensive sample that allowed for state level substance abuse and dependence estimates.  Applying Colorado’s past-year substance abuse and dependence rate from this survey (11%) to Denver’s current 12 and over population yields an estimate of approximately 54,000 substance abusers in Denver.
 
 
TRENDS
• While Colorado’s driving under the influence arrest rate was higher than Denver’s from 2000 to 2005, Denver had a higher percentage of alcohol related fatal crashes than the state in 2004 (65.5% vs. 37.2%), 2005 (43.1% vs. 35.3%), and 2006 (35.5% vs. 34.4%).

• Denver’s alcohol related mortality rate per 100,000 population increased from 41.4 to 52.3 from 2000 to 2005 and was 76% higher than Colorado’s (29.8 per 100,000 population) in 2005.

• Denver has a markedly higher narcotic violation arrest rate than all of Colorado (e.g., 141 vs. 45 per 10,000 population in 2005).
 
• Denver’s drug related mortality rate per 100,000 population increased from 56.9 to 84.8 from 2000 to 2005 and was 48.3% higher than Colorado’s (57.2) in 2005.
• Most Denver marijuana indicators are increasing. For example, Denver’s marijuana treatment admission percentage rose from 24.7% of total admissions (excluding alcohol) in 2000 to 34.7% in 2006, while those for the rest of Colorado declined from 47.1% to 33.9% during the same time period. Also, the rate per 100,000 for marijuana related emergency department visits in Denver rose from 36.8 to 67.0 from 2004 to 2005.
 
• Methamphetamine indicators are increasing in Denver. The methamphetamine treatment admission percentage, excluding alcohol, rose from 5.9% to 13.5% from 2000 through 2006, and the rate per 100,000 for methamphetamine related emergency department visits in Denver rose from 24.1 to 54.4 from 2004 to 2005.
• Despite the increase in methamphetamine indicators, cocaine still dominates the Denver stimulant scene, with most indicators stable or increasing. For example, Denver’s cocaine treatment admission percentage rose slightly from 26.1% of total admissions (excluding alcohol) in 2000 to 29.6% in 2006. Similarly, the rate per 100,000 for cocaine related emergency department visits in Denver rose from 72.5 to 123.6 from 2004 to 2005. Also, Denver’s cocaine related mortality rate per 100,000 population doubled from 6.7 to 13.8 from 2000 to 2005.
 
• While Denver’s heroin related indicators are mostly stable or decreasing, indicators (e.g., treatment admissions, mortality, etc.) are increasing for other opiates such as hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin) and oxycodone (e.g., Percodan).
 

 
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