Colorado Kids Are Nation's Biggest Booze Bingers, Potheads

By Ariel Nagi 07/22/11

"Rocky Mountain High" isn't just a song.

The Kids Are Not Alright Photo via

Those dwelling in the Rockies may be living higher than we think. According to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, drug and alcohol consumption by young adults aged 18 to 25 in Colorado is significantly higher than the US average. In a major nationwide survey of more than 137,000 Americans, 38.5% in Colorado said they had smoked pot, compared with the national average of 29.1%—and that number climbed points higher than the last such survey. Even more striking, the binge drinking rate in Colorado clocked in at nearly half of the statewide youth at 47.5%, compared with the national average of 41.4%. In overall illicit drug use, including marijuana, cocaine and painkillers, Alaska came in with the highest rate at 13.5%t, with Colorado right behind at 11.3%, while goody-goody Iowa had the lowest: 5.3%. Overall drug and alcohol use nationwide rose to 8.4% from 8% in the previous survey. Colorado also has a higher than average rate of people with major depression or serious thoughts of suicide, according to the survey. "There are a number of categories we're in the top 20 percent, and this is one case where being in the top 20 percent is not a good thing," Arthur Schut, deputy director of the Arapahoe House behavioral treatment center told the Denver Post.


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