While Utah’s serene, family-friendly communities might not seem like hotspots of addiction, statistics show that substance use is more common than you might think. Many people across the state silently battle substance-use problems, and the consequences of not seeking help are often life-threatening.

5 Shocking Substance Use Statistics

  1. Each year, drug use kills more Utah residents than car accidents.
  2. Opioid overdose is the leading cause of drug-related deaths in Utah and the U.S.
  3. Utah’s drug overdose death rate declined by 5.4% over the past three years.
  4. Despite this decline, Utah’s per capita overdose rate is slightly below the national average.
  5. The number of reported medical emergencies increased for certain types of drugs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugs Claim More Lives Than Car Accidents In UT

According to the Utah Opioid Task Force, 682 people died of drug overdoses between June 2020 and June 2021. This figure is twice that of the 320 vehicle-related deaths the Utah Department of Transportation reported in 2021.

Prescription Drug Abuse Causes The Most Overdoses

Opioids contribute to 7 out of every ten drug overdose deaths in the United States. This figure is especially alarming given that prescription painkillers and fentanyl are among the most abused drugs in Utah. In 2020, opioids claimed 444 lives in Utah alone—accounting for 71.3% of all 622 overdose deaths across the entire state.

Drug-Related Deaths Are On The Decline In Utah

Overdose deaths in Utah have decreased by about 5.3% in the past few years. In 2015, the state ranked 9th in the nation for drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people, but that ranking fell to 36th by 2020, which is quite promising.

Overdoses Are More Common Than You Think

Despite having a comparatively lower total number of overdoses than other states, Utah’s per-capita ratio of overdose-related deaths is still relatively high when accounting for its small population. The statewide overdose rate is 18.9 deaths out of every 100,000 residents, slightly below the national average of 21.6 deaths per 100,000 people. However, this is still quite concerning, especially given that pandemic-related stress has caused an uptick in mental health issues and substance misuse across the entire United States.

COVID-19 Hit Utah Hard In Terms Of Drug Use

Although the frequency of overdose-related deaths has been steadily declining over the past few years, the prevalence of drug use remains very high—and the pandemic has only worsened it. For instance, the total amount of fentanyl and cocaine seized by law enforcement officers increased significantly between 2020 and 2021. Likewise, Utah residents requiring emergency intervention or hospitalization for meth use went from just over 200 in January 2019 (when COVID-19 first entered the U.S.) to nearly 500 in June 2021.

Get Compassionate Care And Medical Detox In Utah

Given the high prevalence of religious faith among many Utah residents, it can feel especially scary and shameful to seek addiction treatment. However, substance use disorders can affect anyone, regardless of spiritual background, so you don’t have to fight this battle alone. At Nexstep Medical Detox, we view addiction through compassion and empathy because we understand that addiction is an illness rather than a moral failing or weakness of faith.

Find a Leading Detox Center Near Me

Many of the compassionate staff at Nexstep Medical Detox have struggled with addiction, so they know how it feels to begin the recovery journey. If you’re ready to take that first step or if you have more questions about available programs and treatment options, contact us today to start the intake process.