Colorado’s rate of drug overdose deaths nearly doubles in 4-year period, fueled by fentanyl and meth | SummitDaily.com
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Colorado’s rate of drug overdose deaths nearly doubles in 4-year period, fueled by fentanyl and meth

Greg Pixley, a firefighter with the Denver Fire Department, center, comforts Mitchico “Missy” Duff, right center, during a National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day event at the Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park in Civic Center on Aug. 21, 2022, in Denver. Duff lost her 23-year-old daughter Michiko Duff to fentanyl. Duff explained that her daughter thought she was doing cocaine.
Greg Pixley, a firefighter with the Denver Fire Department, center, comforts Mitchico “Missy” Duff, right center, during a National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day event at the Lincoln Veterans Memorial Park in Civic Center on Aug. 21, 2022, in Denver. Duff lost her 23-year-old daughter Michiko Duff to fentanyl. Duff explained that her daughter thought she was doing cocaine. Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

About once a month, another of Nicole Richardson‘s friends dies.

Richardson, 23, grew up in Denver and started using drugs when she was 17 years old, eventually transitioning to heroin and then fentanyl. She found sobriety two years ago, but since then, at least 15 friends and acquaintances have died from drugs.

While she was using, she witnessed people die. She couldn’t save them.



Richardson is one of the tens of thousands of Coloradans impacted every year by the worsening drug epidemic that is killing a rapidly growing number of people in the state. At least 1,881 Coloradans died of drugs in 2021 as fentanyl and methamphetamine continue to push the state’s per-capita overdose rate to the highest level ever recorded, leaving an increasing number of grieving families and friends in its wake.

The age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths in Colorado has nearly doubled in four years, from 16.5 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2018 to 31.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2021, according to recently finalized data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.



Read more at DenverPost.com.


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