drug addiction

Tonja Jimenez is far from the only person driving an RV down Colorado's rural highways. But unlike the other rigs, her 34-foot-long motor home is equipped as an addiction treatment clinic on wheels, bringing lifesaving treatment to the northeastern corner of the state, where patients with substance use disorders are often left to fend for themselves.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Two years after closing an office in Garden City, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration announced this week it’s coming back to town.

The agency’s new setup comes at a time when methamphetamine seizures are on the rise in Finney County and the area’s seen some drug-related shootings. Plus, states are grappling with the fallout of billions of opioids distributed throughout the U.S., and western Kansas has few drug rehabilitation options.

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Judges typically have two options when sentencing drug crimes: prison or probation.

But next month, Ellis County in western Kansas is opening Kansas’ 13th drug court in Hays.


When it comes to the availability of help for those addicted to drugs, Texas performs worse than any other state.

According to a new study by the personal finance website Wallethub, Texas lands at the top of the list of states with the fewest substance abuse treatment facilities per 100,000 residents.

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A private organization announced this week that it is supplying every sheriff’s department in Oklahoma with a drug that can reverse opiate overdoses.

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For almost 20 years, Amarillo went without a residential treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction.

But this weekend, as The Amarillo Globe-News reports, a Panhandle recovery group known as Amarillo Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs hosted an open house to cheer the opening of their new Comprehensive Treatment and Recovery Center.

Oklahoma Sees Wins And Losses In Battle Against Opioids

Sep 18, 2017
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Opiates continue to ravage rural communities in Oklahoma, and the question of how to combat the problem is expected to dominate the 2018 legislative session.

As Oklahoma Watch reports, the state is doing some things right, but in other areas the response to the drug epidemic has lagged behind other states. Overdoses from methamphetamine and heroin have increased in recent years. In fact, last year, a record 899 Oklahomans died from drug overdoses.

Experts: Opioid Crisis Coming Soon To Kansas

Sep 3, 2017
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Kansas leaders are trying to get ahead of the opioid crisis in the Sunflower State before it grows as bad as it has in other parts of the country.

As The Hays Daily News reports, last week the Kansas Health Institute held a symposium on the issue. One overarching theme dominated the event: The opioid crisis is coming soon to Kansas.

Oklahoma AG Hopes To Curb Opioid Use

Aug 8, 2017

In the last three years, 3,000 Oklahomans have lost their lives due to the opioid crisis.

Now, as the Enid News And Eagle reports, state Attorney General Mike Hunter is doing his best to rein in the scourge of opioids.

But he’s got an uphill battle.

In 2014, almost 10 million prescriptions for opioids were filled statewide - the equivalent of giving everyone in the state 50 pills.

Rural Areas Hit Hardest By Opioid Epidemic

Aug 2, 2017

The opioid epidemic has hit rural areas like Morton County, Kansas harder than other areas, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, the staff of the tiny Morton County Hospital in southwest Kansas has gotten good at identifying repeat customers: people who regularly show up looking for opioid pain medicines.


On the eastern plains of Colorado is a rehab clinic for the homeless who are addicted to drugs and alcohol – an unusual site given that most such facilities are based in cities.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community, located in Las Animas, Colo., is also unique in that most drug and alcohol treatment providers for the homeless push “housing first” programs.


The Panhandle of Texas will soon be home to a new alcohol and drug rehabilitation center.

As KVII reports, the Amarillo Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs (ARAD) organization has plans to move into the former Bivins nursing home.

The facility holds 32 beds, and will soon house the area’s only 30-day substance abuse treatment center.

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Perhaps there is nowhere as welcoming as an old farmhouse, so it’s only appropriate that a women’s drug and alcohol treatment center in western Kansas would be located in one.

As The Hutch News reports, City on A hill, an eight-bed residential treatment center, is located on a dirt road 15 miles west of Scott City.

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The scourge of opiate addiction isn’t just affecting teens and adults in the heartland. According to a new study, infants are being exposed to opioids in the womb at a much faster rate in rural communities than in urban settings.

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Congress passed legislation last week that will go a long way toward fighting opioid abuse.

As The Rural Blog reports, the law will increase funding for medical research and speed up federal approval of new drugs that will help Americans struggling with addiction.

The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk. The president praised the law, saying “We are now one step closer to . . . helping people seeking treatment for opioid addiction finally get the help they need.”

A Colorado Group Tirelessly Battles the Meth Scourge

Oct 4, 2016
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A Colorado group is doing its best to fight the scourge of a highly addictive drug popular in rural communities.

As KUSA reports, the Colorado Meth Project is spreading a message of hope, and they believe it’s working. And the numbers agree: between 2005 and 2015, Meth use in teenagers dropped by 40 percent. Kent MacLennan is executive director of the program. He says the project is still staying hot on the trail of making sure teens are aware of the dangers of the drug.

Lawmakers Work to Contain Texas Opioid Scourge

Sep 16, 2016
Texas Tribune

Almost 3,000 Texans died from drug-related overdoses two years ago, and many of these were related to prescription opioid use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named prescription drug abuse as the fastest-growing drug problem in the country.

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The federal government has announced it will distribute $53 million dollars to 44 states and four tribes to help fight opioid addiction, reports The Rural Blog.

Colorado Governor Signs Law to Prevent Overdose Deaths

May 26, 2016

A new law aims to help the state of Colorado cut back on overdose deaths from illegal drugs, reports Colorado Public Radio. The bill was signed into law last Thursday by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Many overdose deaths occur because when a drug user overdoses, the user’s friends don’t always call the paramedics. That’s because they’re afraid they’ll be arrested for holding or consuming illegal drugs.


Many states have recently limited prescriptions for opioids, after an increase in overdose deaths has rocked rural America. But the new opioid limits are putting small town doctors in an unenviable position. Physicians must now refuse to prescribe painkillers to patients who actually need them, reports The Rural Blog.

Colorado Drug Overdose Rates Above National Average

Feb 10, 2016

Colorado ranks among the best states in the nation when it comes to education, a booming economy, and the well-being of its residents. But there’s another factor where Colorado rates above average, and this one isn’t something to be proud of. Deaths from drug overdoses in Colorado are above national rates, reports Colorado Public Radio. And some counties are among the nation’s highest.

From Kid to Punk to Man

Feb 1, 2016

“The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.” ― Russell Brand.