Which States Have The Biggest Drug Problems? WalletHub Releases New Study About Drug Use In The USA

America has been fighting the war on drugs for over 40 years, yet accidental, drug-related deaths continue to climb in the United States. Last year, Fox News reported that deaths by overdose increased more than 30 percent from 2011-2016. According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioids are the main killer, linked to 33,091 deaths in 2015. Since 1999, overdoses related to opioids have quadrupled.

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As the health department has found, drug abuse takes a particular toll in certain areas of the country. In 2015, West Virginia had the highest rates of death caused by drug overdoses. New Hampshire, Kentucky, Ohio and Rhode Island were also hit particularly hard by the drug problem.

thermometer-1539191_1920 Prescription pain medications added to the opioid epidemic. Pixabay

The math experts at financial website WalletHub released a new study about drug use in America. They found that overall, the top 10 states for drug abuse are:

  1. District of Columbia

  2. Vermont

  3. Colorado

  4. Delaware

  5. Rhode Island

  6. Oregon

  7. Connecticut

  8. Arizona

  9. Masshachusetts

  10. Michigan

Teen drug use is especially problematic in Colorado as that state was found to have the highest percent of teen drug users. Colorado is followed by District of Columbia, Vermont, Oregon and Rhode Island. States with the lowest percent of teens reportedly doing drugs is  Nebraska, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa.

Even more terrifying is the prevalence that kids are offered drugs at school. A study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse in 2012 found that 44 percent of high school respondents knew a student who sold drugs at school.

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WalletHub’s study reports that the top five states where students have been offered, sold or given drugs on campus include New Jersey, Nevada, Arizona, Connecticut and New Mexico. Alternately, places with the lowest percent are Nebraska, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. Unsurprisingly, the states with the lowest rates are also among those that have the fewest percent of drug users overall.

Mirroring the CDC’s findings from two years ago, WalletHub found that West Virginia had the most deaths per capita related to drug use. The Appalachian state is followed by New Hampshire, Kentucky, Ohio and Rhode Island.

For the study, WalletHub looked at three overall categories: drug use and addiction, law enforcement and drug health issues and rehabilitation facilities. Then, scores for 15 metrics were determined on a 100-point scale, with the higher end representing a bigger problem.

There’s much debate about how Americans can deal with the epidemic. Some believe that providing easier access to Naloxone, which essentially reverses the effects of opioids, would prevent and save many lives from accidental overdoses. Providing affordable access to drug treatment facilities and education are other proposed ways to lower death rates.

For more about America's drug problem, including how experts think we can finally find a solution, visit WalletHub.

See Also:

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