The United States is deeply entrenched in a substance abuse epidemic, and Nampa, Idaho is no exception. Alcoholism, illicit drug addiction and opioid abuse are affecting everybody from all states, all communities and all families. An area of the state called Treasure Valley, encompassing Nampa, Boise, Caldwell and Meridian, is the epicenter for drug activity. More than 33% of the state’s total population lives in Treasure Valley, so it is logical that much of the drug abuse, addiction and drug-related crimes occur here.
The American Psychiatric Association describes addiction as a mental disease characterized by compulsive substance use despite known consequences. People with addiction issues are intensely focused on using their substance of choice to the point where use is all-consuming. Pursuit of the substance guides almost every life choice, and people with addiction typically have distorted judgement, decision-making skills, memory, learning, and behavior control skills.
Idaho is a large state with a smaller population than most other states, which might make you think that it is immune to the drug crisis taking over the urban areas of the rest of the country. The truth, however, is that the drug crisis is just as bad. Unfortunately, despite the prevalence of substance abuse the state receives less federal funding to help combat the epidemic when compared with larger, more populous states.
Substance abuse and addiction can ruin lives, but luckily, there are assistance options for people who are suffering from effects of alcoholism and drug abuse and addiction in the Nampa-area of Idaho. The most important thing to keep in mind is that, regardless of whether you are an addict or if your loved one is an addict, you are not alone. Here are some surprising addiction and substance abuse treatment statistics you may not have been aware of for Idahoans:
Surprising Statistics: Opioid Abuse
Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and legal prescriptions like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and others. Opioids bind with receptors on nerve cells throughout the body and brain, and they can create feelings of euphoria in addition to pain relief. This increases addiction potential, which can lead to dependence and ultimately death.
Data collected by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2015 revealed that prescribers in Idaho wrote 76.4 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons, or about 1.3 million prescriptions. In the same year, the average rate of opioid prescriptions written across the US was 70 opioid per 100 persons
Meanwhile, NIDA data also reveal that there were 119 opioid-related overdose deaths in Idaho during 2016. This is a rate of 7.4 deaths per 100,000 persons, which is lower than the national rate of 13.3 death per 100,000 persons. Between 2012 and 2016, the death rates attributed to specific categories of opioids were as follows:
- Number of prescription opioid deaths per year increased from 45 to 77 deaths
- Number of synthetic opioids (mainly fentanyl) deaths per year increased from 11 to 20 deaths
- Number of deaths attributed to heroin rose from 11 to 25 deaths
- Nine percent of teenagers in the Nampa area say they use at least one illegal drug every month
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2013-2014, 3.9% of people in Idaho older than 12 years old reported nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers. Broken down further, among Idaho high school students, prescription medications, including opioids, are the second-most abused illicit drugs behind marijuana. Between 2008 and 2016, the drug and narcotic violation arrest rate for heroin increased more than 15-fold from 0.03 arrests per 1,000 population to 0.46 arrests per 1,000 population.
Surprising Statistics: Alcohol Abuse
Nationally, alcohol abuse is extremely common due to the social nature of drinking. According to data collected by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) the number of adults who say they have had a drink falls around 86.5%. Of this number, 71% say they have had some amount of alcohol within the last year, while nearly 57% report consuming it during the past 30 days.
Consumption of alcohol can be very dangerous. NIAAA data show that 33% of all visits to the emergency room are related to drinking. For many people, alcohol is considered to be an important element of social activity and celebration. Therefore, it only makes sense that alcohol use disorder (AUD) is extremely common. NIAAA data show that nearly 7% of American adults, or more than 16.3 million people, were classified as having an AUD in 2014. Going further, NIAAA reports that 2.7% of all people between the ages of 12 and 17, or nearly 680,000 people, had an AUD during the same year.
Around 15% of adults in the Nampa area say they have dealt with alcoholism during their lifetime, while 16% of teenagers admit to using alcohol illegally within the last month.
When it comes to Idaho, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers specific data on alcohol abuse as it related to motor vehicle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines a fatal crash as alcohol-related or alcohol-involved if either a driver or a non-motorist, which is typically either a pedestrian or bicyclist, had a measurable or estimated blood alcohol concentration of 0.01 grams per deciliter or above. Between 2003 and 2012:
- 712 people were killed in car accidents that involves a drunk driver
- The death rate per 100,000 people in Idaho attributable to alcohol is 5.8 for males. No Idaho data are available for females
- 1.2% of people in Idaho self-report driving after drinking too much
In Canyon County, where Nampa is located, the percentage of driving deaths that involved alcohol was 31% in 2016, which is a steep increase when compared with other counties in Idaho. The rate of driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Nampa and other Canyon County locales was 5.5 per 1,000 persons in 2013.
According to a survey from Department of Health and Human Services, the rate of alcohol abuse among teenagers in Idaho is consistent with the national level data. About 16% of high school students reported having five or more drinks in a row within a couple of hours on at least one day within the previous month, compared with 18% across the US.
Surprising Statistics: Addiction Treatment
Getting addiction help in Nampa may seem like a daunting task, but luckily, there are several options to help you get back on track. In 2012, drug treatment admissions for non-heroin opiates increased to 12% in Idaho. Drug treatment admissions for stimulants including methamphetamine were 39%.
Data from the Department of Health and Human Services’ “Treatment Episode Data Set” (TEDS) from 2004-2014 reveal that in 2014, out of all publicly funded treatment admissions in Idaho that were not funded by Medicaid, 35% of people reported methamphetamine was their primary substance of abuse upon treatment entry. This data is consistent with Nampa-level numbers – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports methamphetamine is the biggest drug-related threat to Nampa.
Additionally TEDS data show that the number of people entering treatment for primarily heroin abuse in Idaho has jumped ahead of the number of people entering treatment for prescription drug abuse.
Idaho Counties Take Action
Statistics like these help to expose patterns of drug availability, use, and overdoses trending upward in Idaho. This means that timely and effective education, prevention, intervention, and treatment programs are more important than ever. In April 2018, several counties in Idaho, including Canyon county, signed on with law firms to investigate and pursue legal claims against pharmaceutical manufacturers amid the worsening opioid crisis.
“I first really started paying attention to this early in 2017, and at first I thought this is not an issue for Blaine County because I had not been hearing we had a serious opioid issue that rose to crisis,” said County Commissioner Larry Schoen, who introduced the resolution to join the lawsuit, in an interview with the Idaho Statesman “At a certain point, I began asking various people like the sheriff, the coroner, folks from the hospital, the public health district … ‘Do we have a problem with opioids?’ ”
County commissioners are hoping to get some compensation for the indirect costs of opioid use, similar to the Millennium Fund, which came from the tobacco settlements years ago that continue to generate funds for Idaho and other states.
Treatment Options in Nampa, Idaho
The population of Canyon county, where Nampa is located, is young (30% younger than 18 years of age), diverse (20.5% Hispanic versus 6% in neighboring Ada county), and poor (13.2% live below the poverty line). All of these factors need to be considered when choosing treatment options, but luckily in Nampa there are facilities and programs appropriate for everyone’s needs.
Physically ridding the body of harmful substances is just to first step in making a full recovery from addiction. Addiction is a chronic disease, and many patients require long-term or repeated care to completely stop using and have a sustainable recovery. Overall, addiction treatment must help the person stop abusing substances, stay substance-free and be a productive in their family, job, and society. Treatment modalities can vary based on the individual.
Ashwood Recovery is here to help you and your loved ones overcome addiction, alcoholism and other disorders in a comfortable, compassionate environment. Our counseling program has helped many in our community get their lives back. With locations in Boise, Bellevue and now Nampa, Ashwood Recovery can offer comprehensive services for even more Idahoans. Services offered by Ashwood including:
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Continuing care
- Residential placement
- Drug testing
- Family programs