Addiction in Cheyenne
The capital city of Wyoming, Cheyenne’s issue with opioids is one of the most benign in the nation. That said, that is only looking at a total number of deaths. Looking at the actual number may seem good but, given the state’s low population, comparing it to others by the rate is the best way to determine how the opioid epidemic has effected the city.
If one good thing came out of the prescription opioid crisis, it is that it turned a light on how easy it is to be exposed to the effects of opioids. However, in cities like Cheyenne, where the population is among the smallest of state capitals, the true impact is not as easily detectable.
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The Need for More Information in Cheyenne
The entire state of Wyoming lost 99 people to death by overdose in 2016. This put the rate of deaths at 17.6 per 100,000. That is higher than 20 other more densely populated states and on par with the state of New York, which lost thousands in 2016. While 99 may look good on paper, looking at how it breaks down among the population reveals the truth. Cheyenne, along with the rest of Wyoming, is dealing with the same opioid epidemic as the rest of the nation. However, this lack of recognition in the issue has led to its own proliferation.
And I said, my son is an addict, you cannot give him addictive medicine. And he said to me, I signed an oath that I cannot let my patients leave in pain.
Scarcity of Help in Cheyenne
With only 9 treatment centers across the entire state, there aren’t many options for the people of Cheyenne to turn, especially considering that many of them may need a program that better suits their individual needs. A lack of variety can make it hard to keep those suffering from addiction from leaving. In cases like that, out of state options can provide more options but the costs often keep people out.
I kept being told over and over again, three months, six months. We can’t get him in. If you know anything about addiction, if you have someone who’s willing to get help right now, things need to move right now.
The Real Numbers in Cheyenne
One Cheyenne woman, Pennie Hunt, lost her 23-year-old son to prescription opioids. After he died, she kept the cause of death a secret. The autopsy even reported that the cause of his death was bronchopneumonia. Hunt claims that this is a common practice in Wyoming. So, there could be dozens of unreported deaths by opioids in Cheyenne and across the state. Because of the stigma addiction carries, the state officials of Wyoming actually don’t have a clear picture on how bad the opioid crisis is in Wyoming. With only 99 reported deaths in Wyoming, the true number could be dozens more and no one would no any better.
For years, Pennie Hunt kept her son’s true cause of death a secret. The autopsy called it bronchopneumonia. She said lots of people do the same, and that’s why Wyoming’s data on opioid deaths may be inaccurate.
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Treatment in Cheyenne
If you are in Cheyenne, suffering the effects of addiction, know that you aren’t alone. The drug epidemic is a worldwide issue, reaching to every corner of the globe. You can find help in your town, or anywhere else from coast to coast. If you or someone you love need treatment, but don’t know where to turn, then reach out to a dedicated treatment provider. They are available to you for consolation on your next steps and to help you find the right rehab for you or your loved one.