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Colo. Drug Use Higher Than National Average, Study Shows

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 07/22/11 03:06 PM ET Updated: 09/21/11 06:12 AM ET

For a state that gets celebrated for having health-focused, active, outdoorsy citizens, there is a new report that sheds some disturbing light on a darker side of our state culture, namely, drug and alcohol use.

A recent study by the The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says that marijuana, cocaine and alcohol use in Colorado is among the highest in the nation, Fox 31 reports.

According to 7News, the study reveals that the number of young adults in Colorado who said they had used marijuana in the past year was 38 percent -- 9 percent higher than the national average of 29 percent. Illicit drug use was 3 percent higher in Colorado than the national average of 8 percent.

47.5 percent of the population of Coloradans ages 18 to 25 reported binge drinking in the last month, The Denver Post reports. That compares with 41.4 percent nationally in the same age group.

Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA Administrator, said this about the report on the SAMHSA website:

No state is free from the unique impact of mental and substance abuse disorders. Data like these give states the information they can use to target their prevention and treatment activities for the greatest benefit to their residents.

The SAMHSA report provides a state-by-state analyses of a wide range of behavior health issues, reports on illicit drug, alcohol and tobacco use, treatment need and mental heath factors. Get a free copy of the SAMHSA “State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008-2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health” report here.

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