Drug Abuse Trends in Helena, Montana
Helena, Montana, Queen City of the Great Rockies, is the state’s capital and home to over 77,414 people in the Helena Micropolitan Statistical Area. Originally, the city was founded as a gold mining camp; billions of dollars of gold was mined in the area in about 20 years. Today, countless dollars in illicit drugs is trafficked through the sweeping, rural state nicknamed Big Sky Country.
Commonly abused substances in Helena include:
In 2017, approximately 4% of Montana adults admitted to the misuse of prescription painkillers in the past year. 9.36% of adults between the ages of 18 and 25 abused them. Though Montana ranks 11th lowest in overall prescription opioid abuse, overdose still killed 369 Montanans between 2011 and 2013. Inpatient hospital admissions and emergency department visits totaled 7,200 incidents in that time. Simultaneously, heroin abuse increased in Montana, resulting in a 475% increase in crime lab samples containing heroin.
Furthermore, individuals in the area commonly abuse multiple substances at a time. Thus, rates of alcohol abuse are high. Montana was ranked as the fourth “drunkest” state, based on CDC reports of excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking. With 21.8% of adults binge drinking regularly, traffic fatalities are also elevated. Drunk driving deaths accounted for 61% of roadway fatalities in 2017 – 2nd highest in the nation.
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Meth Addiction in Helena
While the prescription and synthetic opioid problem continues to result in a spate of overdose deaths across the country, meth abuse remains the primary concern for Montana’s drug task forces. Helena’s law enforcement regularly bust traffickers of potent, Mexican “Ice” along I-15 in privately-owned and rented vehicles. Drug charges represent the majority of misdemeanor and felony arrests in the region.
Hospitals and public health departments around Montana tell us that substance abuse is one of the most serious health problems facing their communities. The toll in terms of human lives, economic costs, and the drain on our healthcare, child welfare, and criminal justice systems is simply too high: we can’t wait any longer to tackle this problem.
The result of meth addiction in Montana is especially devastating to families. Over 40% of child and family service cases are meth-related. The total number of children in foster care because of a parent’s substance use disorder has doubled between 2010 and 2017.
Addiction Statistics for Helena
In Montana in 2016, there were 1,690 crashes in Helena’s Lewis and Clark County as a result of drunk driving.
deaths per 100,000 people
In 2012, Montana had an alcohol-related traffic fatality rate of 9.4 deaths per 100,000 people (the national average was 3.3).
Meth-related crime cost Montana $80 million in 2008.
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Addiction Treatment in Helena, MT
Montana’s Department of Health and Human Services has approved 32 inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers across the state. Yet, with so many individuals requiring treatment for a substance use disorder, space in Montana drug and alcohol rehabs is limited. Authorities estimate more than 4,000 adults are actively seeking treatment (without success) and only 7% are receiving it. Less than half of state-approved rehabs offer services for co-occurring disorders.
While Helena offers a number of support group options, including Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, individuals looking for particular treatment therapies or amenities may consider traveling out-of-state for rehab. If you’re looking for more information about your rehab options, talk to a treatment provider today.