Utah houses a considerably larger illegal drug market than one might think. Boasting an abundance of every kind of illicit substance, from homegrown methamphetamine to Mexican "brown" and "black tar" heroin, the need for drug and alcohol rehab is evident when one sees the number of fatalities and overdoses that occur in the state each year. Though methamphetamine is certainly the most serious drug problem facing the state’s population, law enforcement officials have had their hands full with a growing heroin problem and a raging crack and powder cocaine epidemic. Various independent distributors and drug trafficking organizations have exploited Utah’s sequestered mountainous landscapes and sprawling rural plains to conduct their business. Local and state officials and prevention advocates have responded to the state’s growing drug problem by developing specialized drug and alcohol rehab facilities. Illegal drugs are commonly moved in and out Utah via private and commercial ground transportation. The state’s drug trade is controlled primarily by Hispanic cartels that often use gangland violence to protect their inventory and maintain their dominance.
The amount of different drugs available on the Utah market calls for a comprehensive and thorough approach to drug rehab. In an effort to adequately combat the numerous deadly substances that threaten residents, officials and prevention advocates have developed quality facilities staffed with compassionate and experienced professionals. No matter what dependency or substance abuse problem brought you to this point, there are numerous options for Utah residents. If you or your loved one is suffering from continued substance or chemical dependency, it’s not too late to take your life back.
It’s estimated that a 1.5 million Utah residents struggle with some type of alcohol abuse problem. Of these, about 120,000 are children between the ages of 12 to 17. Drunk driving and resulting fatalities continue to pose a problem for state law enforcement officials. Though juvenile drinking and the increasing amount of teenagers entering alcohol rehab is an alarming and serious problem, it’s only part of the widespread alcohol dependence issue claiming Utah residents of all ages and backgrounds. Utah has many alcohol rehab options that will build patients’ strength to maintain sobriety once they successfully complete residential or outpatient treatment.
Detox facilities are, for the most part, staffed with compassionate and experienced professionals who will work to make patients as comfortable as possible during what can be a sickening and painful withdrawal process. It’s important to make a responsible and educated choice when choosing a detox program, as it can make or break your entire recovery. Detox helps patients start their rehab with renewed energy and a clean bill of health by expelling all of the substance abuse-related chemicals from their body before beginning residential psychological treatment. It’s a critical component to any recovery effort, the importance of which cannot be overstated.
Marijuana abuse is one of the most popular substance abuse behaviors in the state. The majority of Utah’s marijuana supply originates in Mexico; however, there is a health supply of higher-potency product that comes in through Canada as well as a booming domestic cultivation pipeline. Residents take advantage of the state’s remote and undisturbed rural areas to grow limited crops for their own consumption and distribution. Domestic producers have even gone so far as to develop irrigation pipelines to adequately combat the dry and unfriendly climate that may hinder growth. Hispanic cartels and independent dealers are the primary controllers of the Utah marijuana market.
Cocaine has begun to infiltrate all areas of Utah. Trafficking and distribution of the drug are controlled primarily by Mexican drug trafficking organizations, and is one of the most serious illegal drug problems facing the state’s residents. The Wasatch Range, a stretch of land that extends from Provo to Ogden and covers three-quarters of the state’s population, is where the bulk of cocaine-related business is conducted. Independent dealers and Hispanic cartels purchase and sell large wholesale amounts, often by the kilogram. Historically confined to the state’s urban areas, crack addiction has proliferated.
Mexican “brown” and “black tar” heroin remain readily available in most areas of Utah. Despite spirited efforts from law enforcement and prevention advocates, heroin addiction has continued to grow, and is responsible for an increasing amount of drug rehab admissions in the state. The amounts of heroin available for wholesale purchase are climbing—indicating that inventory is increasing and that distributors are catering to larger customer-bases. Purity and price have remained reliable over the past ten years, which further hinders prevention and treatment efforts.
Methamphetamine addiction is the most urgent substance abuse and addiction threat in the state. Mexican meth is regularly shipped in from California and Colorado. This is compounded by a thriving network of homegrown laboratories that produce smaller quantities of higher-purity methamphetamine for regional and local distribution. Despite the progress law enforcement has made in the eradication of methamphetamine from Utah, including regular seizures of large and small-scale labs, the drug still continues to dominate the state’s illegal drug market.
Oxycontin, hydrocodone, and Xanax are the three most commonly abused prescription drugs in Utah. Prescription medication addiction has spread to every portion of the state’s population, from athletes to executives, and shows no signs of diminishing. Primary causes included unscrupulous doctors, pharmacy robberies, personal theft, unregulated Internet sales and diversions from Mexico and Canada. Pain management clinics that irresponsibly prescribe medications to patients are also becoming increasingly culpable in this epidemic. Oxycontin is the most common cause of rehab for pharmaceutical addiction.
Once confined to the state’s bar and nightclub scene, club drug addiction has spread to colleges and high schools. The term “club drugs” is used to describe MDMA (molly), GHB, PCP, ketamine and LSD. The majority of Utah’s club drug comes from independent dealers in Florida, California and Texas. Addiction victims tend to include teenagers and young adults who take the drugs with alcohol to heighten social experiences. The consequences of club drug abuse can be fatal. They can also cause permanent comas, respiratory disorders, and cardio-vascular issues.
The state’s booming illegal drug market has created the need for a comprehensive and sophisticated statewide approach to drug and alcohol rehab. Underage drinking poses an increasingly larger danger, as does the dependency on prescriptions and crack. Cocaine and methamphetamine are still the two most dominant drugs in the state. Compassionate treatment for victims combined with vigorous prosecution of distributors is the best way to start counteracting the effects of a deadly and diverse inventory of narcotics that have already claimed too many of Utah’s residents.