As the official state capitol of Idaho, Boise has the highest population of any city in the state. Located in southwestern Idaho about 41 miles east of the Oregon border, and 110 miles north of the Nevada border, Boise is the third most populated metropolitan area of the Pacific Northwest behind Portland and Seattle. Called the City of Trees because of the lush vegetation and woods that the Boise River helps sustain, the city got its name from early French-Canadian fur trappers who called the area "La rivière boisée", which means "the wooded river."
Located just south of downtown is Boise State University known for its college football team which plays on a uniquely blue playing field—a major landmark for the city.
Time Magazine tagged Boise #1 out of 8 other cities for “getting it right,” when it comes to “Solutions for America.” The distinction was bestowed based on Boise’s thriving economy, quality health care, booming cultural scene, and growing university.
But there is a distinction that the citizens of Boise are not necessarily proud of: that of being one of the many cities in Idaho that has close to 10 percent of its population engaging in illicit drug use on a daily basis. This includes illegal use of prescription drugs which, as with most major cities across the country, has grown to epidemic proportions in Idaho. However, this figure does not include the consumption of alcohol, which is by far the most consumed and abused mind altering substance across the nation.
The Drug Abuse Problem in Boise
Substance abuse impacts people from all walks of life. Because of the high numbers of people with drug habits, most people in the city have been adversely affected by this wide-spread drug use in one way or another.
Below is a description of the most common substances being used in the idyllic city of Boise.
Alcohol is known as a central nervous system depressant and is a substance that is highly abused in our society. And Boise being a college town is not immune to this trend. In fact, out of all substances, legal and illegal, alcohol was the most commonly used depressant in the area. This substance contributed to 50 percent of all known users admitted for treatment.
According to available reports, marijuana is the most commonly cited illicit drug among treatment admissions in the state. Because Boise is not a city as large as Los Angeles or New York, you won’t commonly find marijuana dealers on the street, but a section of the city called the North End harbors many marijuana smokers and dealers.
But as some cities across America have already legalized (or are taking baby steps toward legalizing) the use of marijuana, you won’t find Boise hopping on that band wagon any time soon. The city boasts a very conservative population, a quarter of which belongs to the Church of Latter Day Saints, and hence would not countenance such legalization of the drug.
Second only to marijuana, stimulants are a big part of Boise’s drug culture. This category of drugs includes cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, as well as others. Opposite to a depressant, a stimulant increases the electrical activity of the nervous system, increases heart rate and blood pressure. This causes a person to be more alert, have prolonged periods of activity, and can improve mood and increase confidence. But as with any drug these effects are artificially stimulated at a very dear cost to the user.
As with other major cities across the country, cocaine use in Boise has decreased with the rise in methamphetamine use. Methamphetamine use has been spreading across the country over the past several years, and Idaho has been feeling the effects of this movement. A highly addictive substance, methamphetamine is spreading so quickly because of its availability, ease of use, and the ability to manufacture it from ordinary household products.
Users of methamphetamine can have some of the more violent drug reactions in comparison to others. When taken in large doses the effects can be excitement and anxiety, aggressive behavior, extreme irritability, and even hallucinations and paranoia.
Opiates and Prescription Drugs:
Abuse of opiates such as codeine and morphine and other prescription drugs is becoming a growing problem with the young people in the Boise area. The younger demographic may steal the drugs from a family member or forge prescriptions. Originally developed by the medical community to combat pain, these drugs can be taken orally, or crushed and snorted or injected. Other common prescription drugs the Boise police find abused are: Ritalin, Dexedrine, OxyContin, Darvon, Vicodin, and Valium.
Not only are these drugs dangerous in their own right, it has been stated by drug treatment officials that prescription drug abuse tends to lead to heroin use because heroin is an opiate that is much less expensive to procure.
Heroin is a pain relieving drug that is made from the seeds of the Asian opium poppy plant. In the year 2011, approximately 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 1.6 percent of the population) had used heroin at least once in their lives. It is estimated that out of all those who used the drug, at least 23 percent become addicted to it.
Heroin use is not widespread in Idaho however, accounting for only about 1 percent of all drug arrests in the state. But Idaho State Police do report a significant increase in the amount of heroin arrests. From 2011 to 2012 there was a 60 percent jump in the numbers of arrests for heroin. The average age of those arrested was between 27 and 28, which is a younger age bracket than the previous year when the average age of those arrested was older than 30. Although Boise police are finding heroin abuse among high school age users, the actual percentage of high school age users is estimated to be very, very low.
Find Rehabilitation Facilities in Boise
The first step in helping someone successfully overcome an unhealthy dependence on drugs is to really understand the nature of the person’s addiction and how long they have been in the grips of it. Only with a thorough understanding of the person’s problem can a proper drug treatment program be procured for them.
There are many alcohol and drug treatment services available in Boise, treating all types of addictions. There are in-patient and out-patient treatment programs; short-term (30 days) or long-term (60-90 days) programs. Some of the drug treatment services are subsidized by the government, making them free or very low cost, and others are higher priced, privately funded services. Your choice of facility will have to do with what type and the intensity of the addiction you are dealing with.
Whatever the need, there are hundreds of facilities in Boise to choose from. Sometimes the best way to start is by searching the local listings and talking to someone who is knowledgeable about the field of drug rehabilitation. In this way you can get the proper guidance you need, and the person who needs the care will have the best chance at success by getting into the correct program.