Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Colorado
Each year, over 1.3 million Coloradans – approximately 24% of the state’s population – use illegal drugs and close to another 300,000 – nearly 5% of the population – abuse alcohol. As a result, these substances were responsible for 15.12% of the state’s fatalities between 2008 and 2017. This percentage is significant — Colorado’s rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths is more than two percentage points above the national average of 12.71%. Of Colorado’s most populous cities, Denver-Aurora had the highest drug- and alcohol-induced death rate at 16.03%, more than three percentage points above the national average. The city of Fort Collins had the lowest death rate due to these substances at 12.98%, though still slightly above the national rate.
This guide was created to help the many residents of Colorado who are struggling with substance abuse addiction to find affordable treatment that will put them on the path to recovery. It is also intended to inform the general public about the dangers of substance abuse in Colorado.
If you need help finding a rehabilitation center in Colorado, you can use our directory to find low-cost, quality treatment right away. Read on to find instructions for using the directory and to learn which rehabilitation centers qualify as the highest-rated, low-cost facilities in the state.
Table of Contents
I. Getting Help
Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Colorado
If the cost of rehab is a barrier for you – as it is for many – and you don’t have insurance, there are still ways for you to receive help. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are 380 substance abuse treatment centers in the state of Colorado. Of those 380 rehabs, University of Colorado Anschutz ARTS Specialized Outpatient Services in Denver received the highest overall score based on our five core metrics.
Located in Denver, University of Colorado Anschutz ARTS Specialized Outpatient Services was first in our rankings with a score of 8.3 points out of 10 possible points. The center offers outpatient services to both adults and young adults and received perfect scores in three different categories. These included the category of Treatment Approaches due to the multitude of modalities it employs, such as 12-step facilitation and the Matrix Model approach, as well as the category of Cost, as it accepts Medicare, TRICARE, Access to Recovery vouchers, and other methods of payment. Special Programs for Unique Demographics is the third category in which it earned the full 10 points for its offerings of a variety of programs tailored to the needs of different populations, such as women, patients with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, and clients with HIV/AIDS. The center’s most significant area of weakness is its rehabilitation services; while it offers substance abuse treatment utilizing buprenorphine, it lacks medication-based maintenance or relapse prevention services.
University of Colorado Anschutz ARTS Parkside Clinic provides outpatient services to children, adolescents, and adults and was second in our rankings with an overall score of 8.2 points out of 10 points. The Denver-based facility earned its highest ratings in the categories of Treatment Approaches and Rehabilitation Services as it specializes in relapse prevention from naltrexone, methadone and buprenorphine maintenance, and medications for psychiatric disorders as part of its SAMHSA-certified opioid treatment program. Another strength of the center is its many ancillary services intended to complement treatment to ensure a long-lasting recovery, such as social skills development, self-help groups, housing services, and non-nicotine smoking/tobacco cessation medications. It scored lowest in the category of Cost; it accepts private health insurance, government funding, Medicaid, and Access to Recovery vouchers but does not allow payment with military insurance or through Medicare coverage.
With a score of 8.1 out of 10 points, SummitStone Health Partners Adult, Children, and Family Services in Loveland earned the third highest-ranking based on our core metrics. The center offers both regular and intensive outpatient treatment to children, adolescents, young adults, and adults. It earned full points in the category of Cost because it accepts TRICARE, Medicaid, and Access to Recovery vouchers, as well as Medicare, private health insurance, and further options. The center also earned a near-perfect score for its wealth of ancillary services, including housing services, employment counseling and training, and much more. An area of relative weakness is its programs for unique populations, although it still provides services customized to pregnant/postpartum women, patients with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders, clients referred from the court system, individuals who have experienced trauma, and adolescents.
Rehabilitation Services Provided: 7.77
Treatment Approaches: 7.5
Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 6.66
Ancillary Services: 9.44
Highest-Rated, Low-Cost Treatment Centers in Colorado
1850 East Egbert Street, Suite 200 Brighton, CO 80601 Main Tel: 303-853-3600
Finding a Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Colorado
Start by contacting your referral center
Colorado Crisis Services is a statewide resource that assists residents who need assistance with substance abuse and/or a mental or emotional crisis. The organization’s trained crisis counselors and peer specialists can provide individuals with critical information and support in addition to referrals for treatment. Colorado Crisis Services’ professionals are accessible by telephone, text message, online chat, or a walk-in center located throughout the state and typically open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Further information about this resource is available on the Colorado Crisis Services website.
Individuals seeking substance abuse treatment also have the option of searching through an online directory of statewide service providers. The LADDERS website displays a list of treatment facilities that can be filtered by location, service setting, payment, and other options. Sorting by payment type is helpful for individuals who are seeking a program that accepts their insurance or who require a sliding fee scale due to insufficient medical coverage.
For individuals who need help paying for the cost for treatment, applying for low-income Medicaid services is another available option. Visit the Health First Colorado website for additional information.
Use our database to find a treatment center near you
The tool below lists all of the treatment centers in the state of Colorado recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Input your zip code and select the filter icon to find relevant treatment centers near you.
Many different methods are available for treating addiction, and the science of studying addiction is constantly improving and changing. However, the core pieces of rehabilitation are generally very similar.
Alcohol and illicit drugs present in significant numbers of Colorado veterans who committed suicide in 2015
According to the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System, 1,067 Coloradans died from suicide in 2015, which included 195 veterans. Of these 195 veterans, 24.4% struggled with alcohol abuse before their deaths, and alcohol was present in the bloodstream of 35.9% of veterans following their suicides. Post-mortem toxicology reports also revealed alarming amounts of illicit drugs. Opioids were the most commonly abused substance, having been found in 19.7% of veterans who committed suicide, followed by benzodiazepines in 13.4% of veterans, marijuana in 12% of veterans, and amphetamines in 4.9% of veterans.
Source: Colorado Violent Death Reporting System
Veterans in Colorado can reach out to their local VA medical center to search for information on substance abuse treatment, including the possibility of a VA-based substance use disorder (SUD) program, in their state. Additionally, they can locate information regarding substance abuse treatment services at the Veterans Resource Portal or by contacting the Jefferson Center for substance abuse counseling, support groups, and assistance locating further resources.
Treatment is available for veterans in Colorado who are suffering from a substance use disorder. As of 2017, 64 substance abuse treatment facilities in Colorado – representing 16.8% of all treatment facilities in Colorado – catered specifically to veterans.
Adolescents in Colorado use marijuana and alcohol at rates higher than the national average
of adolescents aged 12-17 used marijuana, 2014-2017
of adolescents aged 12-17 drank alcohol, 2014-2017
Between 2014 and 2017, 9% of Colorado adolescents aged 12-17 reported engaging in marijuana use in the past month, significantly above the national average of 6.8%. In terms of alcohol use, 11.4% of Colorado adolescents aged 12-17 had taken part in the behavior in the past month, which is above the national average of 10.1% by over one percentage point. Additionally, 2.1% of individuals admitted to a substance abuse treatment program in Colorado in 2017 were aged 12-17. To help youth recover from substance addiction, some treatment centers offer adolescent-specific programs and services.
Additional Resources for Parents and Teachers
The Colorado Office of Behavioral Health and Human Services (OBH) regulates around 700 facilities in Colorado, of which 300 are licensed to offer treatment to youth. Services include general outpatient, residential, DUI, and detoxification programs for individuals younger than the age of 17.
A filtered search through the state’s online LADDERS directory will list the locations and contact information for providers of these and other youth-specific treatments. This directory can be further narrowed down by services, location, payment, and other preferences.
Colorado Crisis Services’ representatives can discuss options in detail and make referrals based on individual circumstances. These professionals are accessible via telephone, text message, online chat, and walk-in clinics at several statewide locations. Visit the Colorado Crisis Services website for further information about this resource on a page dedicated to young Coloradans.
Co-Occurring Mental Health & Substance Abuse Treatment
Substance abuse and mental health issues tend to go hand-in-hand – the technical term is “co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that, in 2017, 45.6% of adults with a substance use disorder also had a mental health disorder, and 18.3% of adults with a mental health disorder also had a substance use disorder. For adolescents in 2017, 35.9% of those with a substance use disorder also had a major depressive episode, while 10.7% of adolescents with a major depressive episode also had a substance use disorder.
Mental Health Resources & Treatment
If you or someone you love is suffering from mental health issues, such as depression, PTSD, eating disorders, or severe anxiety, there are many resources from which to receive help.
Below are a few ways to receive immediate assistance, as advised by MentalHealth.gov:
Emergency Services: If your life (or someone else’s life) is in danger, always start by dialing 911 to gain immediate access to emergency services.
Suicide Prevention: The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 800-273-8255. You can also initiate a private live online chat.
Veterans Crisis Line: Dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 and press “1” to talk to someone immediately. You can also access help with a private online chat or text 838255.
Here are two ways to find a provider of mental health treatment in Colorado:
National Alliance on Mental Illness Colorado: The NAMI Colorado website has a section that describes the warning signs of mental health conditions, as well as a page devoted to educational mental health programs available to unique groups of Coloradans.
Individuals who have both substance use and mental health disorders may benefit from dual-diagnosis rehab facilities. Use the appropriate filter in our tool above to find rehabilitation centers with treatment programs designed to meet the unique challenge posed by co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
Substance abuse aftercare treatment is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most crucial steps in the rehabilitation process. The chances of relapsing after rehab dramatically rise for individuals who try to resume their lives without pursuing further treatment in an aftercare setting. Several different types of aftercare are available for recovering addicts, including follow-up visits for continued therapy, group therapy, and sober living homes. Research shows that long-term participation in aftercare activities dramatically improves the outcome of rehabilitation efforts.
12-Step Addiction Meetings in Colorado
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) designed the 12-step process for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction, and today there are many other 12-step programs for other addictions and issues – Narcotics Anonymous (NA) being just one example.
Contact the appropriate local organization to find an AA or NA meeting near you
The tool below lists the contact information for local organizations that will connect you to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings near you. Since meeting times and locations change periodically, contact the local groups that coordinate the meetings to ensure that the information is up to date.
Ute Pass Area (Woodland Park, Green Mountain Falls)
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes (also referred to as recovery residences) are group homes that help recovering addicts transition from treatment facilities to living independently while maintaining their sobriety. These homes can be especially beneficial for individuals who don’t have a supportive and positive environment in which to live after leaving a rehabilitation facility.
Residents of sober living homes can stay from a few months to several years, as long as they follow house rules and avoid relapse, as these homes typically have a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Additionally, residents are expected to complete chores, attend mutual support groups, and pay an equal share of the cost of renting the home.
Some sober living homes are listed in our database, and you can find them by using the appropriate filter in our tool above. You can also check out our guide on sober living homes to learn more about them and to find a certified recovery residence near you.
The following table illustrates the annual estimates of substance abuse among residents of Colorado between 2016 and 2017, in addition to the percentage of the Colorado population and the U.S. population that those estimates represent.
Annual Estimates for Substance Abuse in Colorado, 2016-2017
* ‘Alcohol’ refers to an Alcohol Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use alcohol, but rather those who have an AUD, defined as meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence.
* ‘Prescription opioid’ refers to a Pain Reliever Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use or even occasionally misuse a prescription opioid, but rather those who have a PRUD, defined as meeting the criteria for illicit drug dependence.
of Colorado deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of U.S. deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
The following table shows the number of deaths involving drugs and alcohol in Colorado between 2008 and 2017. The corresponding graph illustrates the percentage of deaths due to drugs and alcohol in Colorado compared to the national average.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Colorado, 2008-2017
When trying to understand substance abuse issues in a specific area, researchers and policymakers examine “key indicators.” Combined with usage statistics, key indicators can provide a deep level of insight into which substances present the most serious concerns and which demographics can be most impacted by substance abuse. Key indicators of substance abuse issues within the state of Colorado, along with recent, credible statistics, are examined below.
Over 800,000 Coloradans suffer from mental illness every year
As discussed earlier in this guide, there is a strong link between substance use disorders and mental health disorders. When an individual is afflicted with both of these issues at the same time, health professionals refer to it as co-occurring substance use mental health disorders or a “dual diagnosis.” Consequently, the prevalence of mental health issues in a given state can also help us to understand the level of substance abuse.
of Colorado adults had a serious mental illness
of Colorado adolescents had a major depressive episode
Between 2013 and 2017, 4.7% of Colorado adults were afflicted with a serious mental illness, compared to 4.2% nationally. Among Colorado adolescents, 13.9% of individuals aged 12-17 suffered a major depressive episode in the past year, compared to a national average of 12.1%.
The table below sheds some light on the prevalence of mental health issues in Colorado.
Mental Health Issues in Colorado by Age and Percentage of Population, 2016-2017
Suicide rates in Colorado are much higher than the national average
The Centers for Disease Control reports that suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States: The suicide rate has risen in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, with that rate increasing by more than 30% in half of all 50 states since 1999. Suicide is an act that is often linked to substance abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, substance abuse is a primary risk factor for both adults and adolescents who attempt and/or complete suicide, and this is particularly true for at-risk populations.
Furthermore, the relationship between substance abuse and suicide is multi-faceted and complex. Persons who have substance abuse issues typically also carry other risk factors for suicide, including depression, impulsive behavior, and other struggles with relationships, finances, illness, or unemployment that make them more likely to engage in self-harm. Between 1999 and 2016, Colorado witnessed a 34.1% increase in suicides. In 2017, Colorado ranked 11th in the country for the number of suicides per 100,000 residents.
Suicides and Suicide Rates in Colorado and the United States, 2017
Colorado has a lower opioid prescribing rate than the overall rate for the United States
Prescription drug abuse – particularly opioids – has become an epidemic in the United States. While it is difficult to estimate how many people use these drugs as prescribed and how many abuse them, the Centers for Disease Control has researched the variation in opioid prescriptions between states, establishing a direct connection between an increased level of opioid prescriptions with a greater potential for dependence and abuse. Across the United States in 2017, 191 million prescriptions for opioids were written by physicians, ultimately leading one in four patients who begins long-term opioid therapy to an addiction.
opioid prescriptions per 100 Colorado residents, 2017
opioid prescriptions per 100 U.S. residents, 2017
After peaking in 2012, the U.S. opioid prescribing rate has been on a steady decline for the last several years due to the explosion of the opioid epidemic and the recognition of the role that excessive opioid prescriptions have played in this epidemic. Between 2013 and 2017, the opioid prescribing rate in the United States dropped from 78.1 prescriptions per 100 residents to 58.7 prescriptions per 100 residents, a decrease of 24.84%. The opioid prescribing rate in Colorado was consistently lower than the U.S. prescribing rate during that time period, from 71.2 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2013 to 52.9 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2017, revealing a similar decrease of 25.7%.
Colorado and U.S. Opioid Prescribing Rates, 2013-2017
The rate of homelessness in Colorado is slightly above the national average
A high rate of homelessness in an area indicates a greater potential for substance abuse issues. Homelessness has been shown to be linked to substance abuse as both the cause and result; some individuals become homeless due to a substance use disorder, while other individuals who are already homeless frequently turn to substance use to dull the pain and desperation of their situation.
The 2018 Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Point-in-Time Count reported approximately 552,830 homeless individuals in the United States, the equivalent of 17 of every 10,000 U.S. residents. This number represents a decrease of 4.1% since 2014 when the number of homeless persons in the U.S. was around 576,450. Furthermore, homelessness across the United States has decreased by 15% since 2007, the year that HUD began collecting data on the homeless population.
of every 10,000 Colorado residents were homeless, 2018
of every 10,000 U.S. residents were homeless, 2018
By comparison, Colorado had approximately 10,857 homeless persons in 2018, equating to 19 of every 10,000 Colorado residents, slightly above the national average. This number reveals an 8.27% increase since 2014 when 10,028 homeless persons lived in Colorado.
V. Regional Substance Abuse Statistics & Rehabs
The following sections provide a deeper look at the substance abuse problem in Colorado by examining the drug- and alcohol-related death rates in the most populous cities. Additionally, the three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in each city are listed.
The three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in Denver-Aurora and the neighboring city of Northglenn are listed in the table below, along with each institution’s performance on our core metrics.
The Highest-Rated, Low-Cost Rehabs in the Denver-Aurora Area
Drug- and alcohol-induced deaths in Denver-Aurora are slightly higher than the state average
of Denver-Aurora deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Colorado deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Denver County, in which the city of Denver of located, and Adams and Arapahoe Counties, both of which encompass the city of Aurora, experienced a total of 20,032 fatalities due to drugs and alcohol between 2008 and 2017. This number represented 16.03% of total deaths among all ages in these counties and was slightly above the state average for the same time period of 15.12%. Denver-Aurora also had a higher rate of alcohol- and drug-related deaths than other top cities in the state, outranking both Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Denver-Adams-Arapahoe Counties, 2008-2017
The rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths is Colorado Springs is marginally higher than the state average
of Colorado Springs deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Colorado deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Colorado Springs is located in El Paso County, where 7,488 fatalities due to drugs and/or alcohol occurred between 2008 and 2017, representing 15.83% of total deaths among all ages in the county. This percentage is only slightly higher than the state average of 15.12%. It is also less than the death rate for Fort Collins, but above the death rate for Denver-Aurora, placing Colorado Springs in the middle of Colorado’s top cities for drug- and alcohol-induced deaths.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in El Paso County, 2008-2017
The three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in Fort Collins and the neighboring cities of Loveland and Estes Park are listed in the table below, along with each institution’s performance on our core metrics.
The Highest-Rated, Low-Cost Rehabs in the Fort Collins Area
The death rate due to drugs and alcohol is significantly lower in Fort Collins than in Colorado
of Fort Collins deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Colorado deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Between 2008 and 2017, there were 2,983 deaths in Larimer County, where Fort Collins serves as the county seat. This number amounted to 12.98% of total deaths in the county during that time and was more than two full percentage points below the state average of 15.12%. Fort Collins’ rate of deaths due to alcohol and/or drugs was also much lower than the rates of Colorado’s other top cities by at least two and up to three full percentage points.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Larimer County, 2008-2017
Substance abuse treatment is available in Colorado for anyone who needs help beating an addiction – you don’t have to struggle alone. To receive assistance, start by determining your insurance coverage and by contacting your referral service. You can also use our tool earlier in this guide to locate a treatment center near you. Remember, many low-cost rehabilitation centers can help if you don’t have insurance coverage or feel like you are unable to afford treatment.