Addiction in Casper
Casper, the second most populous city in Wyoming, has a growing drug crisis that is in line with the country’s opioid epidemic. Conflicting reports can paint a confusing image for the city and state, however, looking at the numbers show a clear picture. Drug use is exploding in Casper.
In 2016, 17.6 people per 100,000 died of a drug overdose. This number may sound miniscule compared to other cities, especially considering that 115 people were dying a day from opioids in 2016. However, it is a huge increase when compared to less than two people per 100,000 dying of overdose in 2003.
We don’t have numbers — we don’t know what our problem looks like. We just have people’s anecdotes.
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The Growing Drug Market in Casper
Casper, and Natrona County as a whole, has seen a massive spike in drug arrest over a course of 6 years. Casper police arrested 86 people for drug possession in 2010, that more than tripled to 309 by 2016. Of those substances, the greatest increase was in methamphetamine possession, which saw a 75% increase from 2015 to 2016.
While Casper seems small enough that these kinds of increases shouldn’t happen, its position between Interstates 25 and 80 make it a strong location for people transporting drugs from the South to the Midwest and the West Coast.
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Carfentanil in Casper
Carfentanil has found its way into Casper. The synthetic opioid, meant as an elephant tranquilizer, is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and is now tied to three near-deaths in the Oil City. This is impressive, considering that even inhaling the powder in the air can trigger an overdose. Despite the fact that no deaths have been tied to carfentanil yet, its presence in the small city is alarming. It could mean that Casper’s fight against opioids is far from over.
The “Drop” in Opioid Deaths in Casper
A recent drop in reported opioid-related deaths in Casper and across Wyoming have put the state within the national average. Many are taking this as a sign that Wyoming is beating back the opioid epidemic, however, the truth comes down to questionable reporting.
County coroners, who are responsible for reporting the cause of death, are elected officials in the state of Wyoming. This means that each one has their own methods when filling out death certificates. These methods, however, often mean varying degrees of description. If a coroner writes “multi-drug toxicity” this is classified as death from “unspecified drugs.” So, anyone who dies from an opioid plus an additional drug in their system is not actually counted as a victim of the opioid crisis. This indecisive reporting has made the state look good on paper but doesn’t paint a clear picture of Wyoming’s battle against opioids.
Finding Treatment in Casper
Wyoming’s vast frontier can make it an excellent choice for recovering in nature. However, often times, people in recovery have trouble gaining sobriety in the same place where their addiction was born. If you, or someone you love, suffer from addiction and don’t know where to turn then reach out to a dedicated treatment provider.They are available, wherever you are, to discuss treatment options and find the right one for you.