Organizations and groups in Boulder County work to reduce drug abuse in the community and promote overall health and wellness. Through education, outreach and support programs, community members help individuals avoid addiction and recover from it.
The Boulder County chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Boulder Area of Narcotics Anonymous host more than 300 support group meetings every week in Lafayette, Jamestown, Lyons and other areas of Boulder County.
For years, Boulder was a popular location for marijuana use. In the 1960s, young people would smoke the drug to relax or to make a political statement. More than 50 years later, students at the University of Colorado Boulder have continued that tradition.
Recreational marijuana use is legal in Colorado. On April 20, thousands of cannabis smokers once appeared on campus to celebrate the unofficial marijuana holiday. To combat this annual activity, the college’s administration expressed its desire to remove the event from campus. Today, university policy prohibits marijuana use on campus.
A 2011 report by The Daily Beast and Newsweek named the University of Colorado Boulder the “druggiest” college in the United States. The authors used drug arrest statistics and national data to reach this conclusion.
However, the number of liquor violations on campus fell from 767 in 2011 to 394 in 2013, according to The Daily Nebraskan. The newspaper outlet also reported that the number of drug violations on campus also decreased, dropping from 442 in 2011 to 199 in 2013.
In Boulder County, heroin overdose has been a problem. Thirteen people in Boulder County died from heroin overdose in 2014, according to the Boulder County Coroner’s Office. Fifteen people in that area died of heroin overdose the previous year.
Boulder County citizens support government efforts to prevent and treat drug abuse and addiction in the area. Local governments and school districts provide counseling services and drug abuse prevention programs, and local law enforcement agencies work together to keep illegal drugs off the streets.
The Boulder County Community Substance Abuse Prevention Program aims to prevent and reduce drug abuse in the area by providing community-based educational programs and advocating for policy changes. The program includes screening and referral services and offers classes for students and adults.
The Boulder Valley School District supports a variety of drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs, such as the Gateway Drug Peer Educators program. Through this initiative, students from local high schools are trained to give presentations regarding drug abuse, health and wellness to local middle school students.
The city of Longmont’s Children, Youth and Families services offers free short-term counseling services to help families confront a variety of issues, including those stemming from drug abuse. Counseling services can be found in a number of schools in the St. Vrain Valley School District and are available in English or Spanish.
The Boulder County Tobacco Education & Prevention Partnership helps community coalitions and organizations work to reduce tobacco initiation and use among teens and young adults in Boulder County. The partnership also helps businesses promote smoke-free work places and advocates for policy changes.
Officers from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and the Boulder, Erie, Lafayette, Louisville and University of Colorado police departments make up the Boulder County Drug Task Force. The agencies collaborate to investigate drug violations and crime related to drug trafficking in Boulder County.
Colleges and universities in Boulder County support drug-free campuses and provide educational, counseling and referral services for students, faculty and staff.
The University of Colorado’s Center for Community, Wardenburg Health Center and CU Collegiate Recovery Center provide a variety of services designed to prevent and treat drug addiction.
Services offered by The University of Colorado’s Center for Community:
The Naropa University Counseling Center in Juniper Cottage provides students with counseling and therapy services on topics such as depression, anxiety, drug abuse, and crisis intervention. The university’s Community Counseling office is home to counseling services and support groups for residents of the Boulder and Front Range communities.
The Front Range Community College campus in Boulder supports a drug-free lifestyle for students, faculty and staff. Students can receive free short-term crisis counseling and stress management services from a certified counselor. The college also provides long-term referral services to community organizations.
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Maintaining sobriety during recovery can be difficult. Choice House in Boulder County supports those in recovery during this challenging time. The organization provides safe and secure facilities that teach residents the benefits of a sober lifestyle.
Located in Louisville, Colorado, Choice House is a men’s facility that offers furnished rooms with single bedrooms, allowing residents to maintain privacy. The program cost covers utility fees, and 24/7 telephone access is available.
This men’s facility also includes:
The organization considers only those candidates dedicated to maintaining sobriety. Residents are required to find a job, perform volunteer work or enroll in school within two to three weeks of joining the program. The facility implements a zero-tolerance policy for substance use.
Choice House recently opened Ladies’ Choice, a women’s recovery facility based in Boulder County. This home includes five private bedrooms, an open commons area and a “waterfall room” for spiritual meditation. Residents must attend at least five 12-step meetings per week and secure a sponsorship. The residence also provides resume and career service resources.
Like the men’s home, Ladies’ Choice offers various lengths of stay with a minimum 90-day commitment. Interested residents must complete the intake process and an interview to be considered.
Many nonprofits strive to reduce substance abuse in Boulder. These organizations implement prevention, education and intervention programs aimed to promote healthy lifestyles.
The Healthy Futures Coalition in Boulder County comprises community organizations, health care providers and government agencies that work together to reduce drug abuse and addiction. The organizations share resources to promote healthy attitudes regarding drugs and alcohol among Boulder County residents.
Based in Longmont, the Alternatives for Youth iTHRIVE program targets teens struggling with drug abuse and addiction in Boulder County. The program was developed in 2011 as an early intervention program for teens and parents suffering from addiction. Today, it promotes healthy development for all youth in the community.
The Natural Highs program uses alternative and traditional methods to provide drug abuse prevention and intervention programs to students at high schools in Boulder and at Naropa University. Natural Highs is also home to peer-mentorship programs and leadership groups composed of Boulder students.
The Boulder County Prevention & Intervention Program strives to prevent drug abuse in the Boulder Valley and St. Vrain school districts and to help students recover from addiction. The program’s counselors can help with topics ranging from depression and suicide to family and peer conflict.
If you’d like to give back to the community and help individuals recovering from addiction in Boulder, a pair of organizations can use your skills.
The I Have a Dream Foundation in Boulder County aims to help youth from low-income families avoid drugs and succeed in life. The foundation provides educational programs, mentors and other support services. It needs volunteers who can help with mentoring, tutoring, photography, graphic design and a variety of other efforts.
The Phoenix Multisport Sober Active Community in Boulder is a group of individuals — including some in recovery — who pursue a sober lifestyle through activities such as climbing, hiking, running and biking. The organization needs volunteers who can assist instructors, coordinate mailing lists, work aid stations or perform a variety of other tasks.
Boulder County is filled with many sober activities for people in recovery. Locals can enjoy outdoor activities, browse unique shops and peruse numerous museums. Many of these things have contributed to the city of Boulder being named the Happiest City in the United States.
You can take a break from city life by going on a hike or camping trip in the Arapaho National Forest or the Roosevelt National Forest. By traveling along the Peak to Peak Highway, you can drive or stop by Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park or the Indian Peak Wilderness.
The Pearl Street Mall at the heart of downtown Boulder is the premier shopping destination in Boulder County. The four blocks of restaurants, shops and boutiques sits between 11th Street and 15th Street and runs along Pearl Street. You can check out the Twenty Ninth Street shopping center and The Hill near the University of Colorado.
You can experience a variety of cultural hot spots in Boulder, Colorado. Visit the Boulder History Museum or the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art for a taste of history. On the weekend, you can listen to the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. In March, you can enjoy acts and films at the Boulder International Film Festival.
Many organizations and educational institutions in Boulder help people in recovery develop job skills and find employment. For those looking to stay in Boulder after treatment, trained professionals can assist job seekers with writing resumes and coach them for interviews and networking opportunities.
The City of Boulder offers various resources for job seekers. The city’s website features job resources, including a list of featured jobs and internships. Additionally, those interested in a career in criminal justice can find employment and volunteer opportunities with the Boulder Police Department.
Workforce Boulder County helps people develop vocational skills through a variety of resources. Its career services department includes a computer resource center, career counseling, job referrals and other career development resources. Its business services department provides labor market information and connects job seekers with businesses through Connecting Colorado, a statewide job database. The organization holds career events and workshops throughout the year.
The University of Colorado Boulder, Naropa University and Front Range Community College offer numerous career resources that help students develop job skills, locate employment opportunities and prepare for interviews.The University of Colorado Boulder
The University of Colorado Boulder employs career counselors who help students write resumes and cover letters, prepare for interviews and negotiate salaries. The career service department hosts career workshops and events. It also provides networking opportunities and other career resources.Naropa University
Naropa University assists students in identifying talents and exploring careers through the Office of Career and Community Engagement. Career service representatives help students locate volunteer work, potential employers and internship opportunities. The department also assists them in preparing for interviews and writing cover letters and resumes.Front Range Community College
Front Range Community College’s Boulder County campus offers career consultation and assessment tests through its career services department. The school also provides job and internship listings, labor market information and networking opportunities.