Substance Abuse in Seattle/Bellevue/Tacoma (Seattle Metro Area)
As the most populated city in Washington State, Seattle is a hot spot for substance abuse. With an international airport and easy access by roadways and by sea, Seattle’s location and large population make it more vulnerable to drug abuse when compared to other cities in Washington. The following are some of the most current statistics on drug addiction in the Seattle Metro Area:
Alcohol Abuse in Washington State
Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the Seattle Metro Area. Often the easiest substance to obtain, alcohol addiction frequently begins in childhood, with 26 percent of 8th grade children in the area admitting to have tried it. This rate increases to 64 percent when surveying children in their senior year of high school.
Heroin Addiction in WA
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, recent research shows an increase in heroin use among people in the Seattle Metro Area. It is the most common drug mentioned in law enforcement reports.
- Heroin made up 22.6 percent of all drug reports in the first half of 2013 compared with 17.9 percent in the first half of 2012.
- Heroin treatment admissions in the Seattle area increased from 15.3 percent of total admissions in 2011, to 20.5 percent of admissions in 2012.
- Drug-induced deaths involving heroin have increased, from 32 deaths in the first half of 2011, to 43 deaths in the first half of 2012, and to 50 deaths in the first half of 2013.
Methamphetamine continues to be popular in Seattle, based on treatment data and death records. With most of the city’s meth coming from Mexico, deaths caused by the drug have increased dramatically, from 7 occurring in the first half of 2011 to 21 occurring in the first half of 2013.
Prescription Opioids Abuse Rates
Admissions to Seattle drug treatment facilities for prescription opioid abuse were most common among clients aged 18-44. From January to June 2013, there was an increase in use of the drug oxycodone.
- 20 Oxycodone linked deaths occurred in the first half of 2012 with 27 occurring in the first half of 2013.
- Oxycodone continued to be the most common type of pharmaceutical opioid identified in drug reports, being identified in 5.7 percent of total drug reports in the first half of 2013, compared with 3.5 percent of the total in the first half of 2012.
Spokane Drug Addiction Stats
With 0.69 percent of the total population of the Spokane metro area receiving treatment, Spokane has higher rates of rehab admittances compared to the rest of the United States. Located on the southeastern border of Washington and Idaho, Spokane, WA reports similar abuse behaviors to those living in the Seattle Metro Area. The statistics of those checking into rehabilitation facilities in the Spokane metro area are listed below:
Alcohol: Alcohol accounts for 30.2 percent of those seeking treatment in rehabilitation facilities, making it the top substance the people of Spokane struggle with.
Methamphetamine: With 18.3 percent of those listing meth as their drug of choice, it is problem in the Spokane area that continues to be on the rise. While much of the methamphetamine sold and distributed is from Mexico, locally manufactured meth is also an issue.
Heroin: 13.4 percent of those seeking treatment in the Spokane area list heroin as their drug of choice. Heroin use is also on the rise.
Prescription opioids: 11.5 percent of those seeking treatment indicate prescription narcotic medications an addiction that they need treatment recovering from. Oftentimes these addictions are formed when legally prescribed medications from licensed healthcare providers are incorrectly dosed.
Addiction Numbers in Vancouver, WA
Located a short commute over the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, WA has similar drug abuse issues as its more-known neighboring city. Portland and Vancouver, WA statistics are often reported as the same population. Below are statistics:
Alcohol: Alcohol is most commonly stated as the drug of choice by those seeking treatment in the Vancouver area of Washington State. 72 percent of youths indicate they use alcohol.
Methamphetamine: Meth is often listed as Vancouver, Washington’s “most serious threat” when analyzing drug abuse statistics from the area.
- 62 percent of law enforcement agencies surveyed reported that meth was the number one drug issue.
- More than 60 percent said meth serves as the primary funding source for major criminal activity. The number of suspected meth samples submitted to the official crime labs every year continues to rise, from more than 5,000 in 2009 to nearly 9,000 in 2014, the last year for which crime-lab statistics are available.
- The number of meth-related arrests in the Portland-Vancouver area has doubled from 2009 to 2015.
Heroin: 24 percent of law enforcement agencies surveyed indicated that heroin was the principal threat in their jurisdictions. Most of the heroin is smuggled into Oregon by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. The Vancouver/Portland metro area serves as the main dealing area. Sales often take place in restaurants and nightclubs, as well as through online connections and social networking sites.
Prescription opioids: 26 percent of law enforcement agencies reported smuggling of prescription drugs into the area. Prescription opioids are often the easiest drug to obtain because of availability. Friends and family, forged prescriptions, and illegal online pharmacies are a few of the ways these drugs are obtained.
Addiction Treatment in Washington State
Drug addiction in Washington State is statistically a larger problem when compared to national averages. Considering the prevalence of substance abuse in the state and the rate of relapse being 50-90 percent, it is critical to make choices regarding treatment facilities very wisely. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, Northpoint Recovery is available to help with any substance abuse issues you or any loved ones may be suffering from. By using an evidence-based approach to treatment, the clinical staff at Northpoint Recovery can offer you and your loved ones medical expertise, education, respect, and support. This guidance will be valuable on your journey towards a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
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