The United States saw a 15% increase in drug overdose deaths, according to the most recent provisional figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2021, there were 107,622 overdose deaths, up from 93,655 in the previous year.
It isn’t simply that there is more fentanyl in Colorado. The state has a high demand for drugs, judging from seizure records. Colorado has one of the nation’s highest increases in fentanyl overdoses from year to year, much of it the effect of drug users unknowingly taking fentanyl that’s laced into their other drugs.
Drug seizure data from Colorado State Patrol confirms that the Centennial State is seeing a 10-year drug trafficking record.
Colorado State Patrol have seized nearly the same volume of drugs in 2022 than any of the last 10 years, with another four months left to go. In total, troopers have intercepted 4,075 pounds this year. This is more than in 2021, which also set a 10-year record with 3,836 pounds seized.
To date this year, Colorado State Patrol has seized 412 pounds of fentanyl — more than all previous years combined.
CSP has also seized 206 pounds of cocaine this year. That’s more than any year but 2019 and 2021, which set the previous record.
Last year, CSP seized a record 217 pounds of heroin, a record 358 pounds of cocaine and a record 1,435 pounds of methamphetamine.
This year, cannabis is the most-seized drug by far. Nearly three-quarters of the poundage seized this year has been marijuana. With 2,930 pounds seized, this is the most since 2012.
Methamphetamine has the second-biggest portion of the seized drugs this year, followed by fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.