Heroin deaths skyrocket 756 percent in Colorado over 15 years

Heroin deaths skyrocket 756 percent in Colorado over 15 years
Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 07, 2017

DENVER — In 2002, the City of Denver recorded just three heroin deaths on the record due to overdoses. That number has skyrocketed by 933 percent at the close of 2016. 

Across Colorado, there's been a similar trend. From 2001 to 2016, Colorado has seen a 756 percent increase in fatal heroin overdoses. 

The drug exploded in popularity due to its cheap price, intense highs and ready availability. Users who take the drug once are typically hooked, and many are hooked until their deaths. 

Drug overdoses on heroin happen quickly and often times — due to the desire to keep drug use secret — privately. The struggle of first responders, family and friends who may come across an overdose victim has been helped by the proliferation of a life-saving drug called Narcan, which can bring back to life a person who is overdosing. 

Colorado's deaths have been steadily on the rise since 2010, when deaths dropped a small percentage. 

In 2016, 197 people lost their lives to the drug across the state 31 of those deaths happened in Denver, according to provisional data from the state. 

The amount of deaths from heroin don't include other opioids, nor synthetic opioids, which increase the number of overall overdose deaths in Colorado into the thousands. Those drugs, which frequently can be prescribed as painkillers, can be where addiction starts. 

See the data obtained by Denver7 below: 

2001 — 

Colorado: 23 deaths

Denver: Not available

2002 — 

Colorado: 27 deaths

Denver: 3 deaths

2003 — 

Colorado: 21 deaths

Denver: 3 deaths

2004 — 

Colorado: 22 deaths

Denver: Not available

2005 — 

Colorado: 41 deaths

Denver: 4 deaths

2006 — 

Colorado: 39 deaths

Denver: 6 deaths

2007 — 

Colorado: 39 deaths

Denver: 12 deaths

2008 — 

Colorado: 46 deaths

Denver: 16 deaths

2009 — 

Colorado: 68 deaths

Denver: 32 deaths

2010 — 

Colorado: 46 deaths

Denver: 21 deaths

2011 — 

Colorado: 79 deaths

Denver: 24 deaths

2012 — 

Colorado: 91 deaths

Denver: 17 deaths

2013 — 

Colorado: 118 deaths

Denver: 25 deaths

2014 — 

Colorado: 151 deaths

Denver: 35 deaths

2015 — 

Colorado: 160 deaths

Denver: 32 deaths


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