Surprising Drug Abuse by State Statistics

Drug Abuse by State

Drug Abuse By State | Find Addiction Rehabs | Prescription drugs on matte background such as Xanax and MorphineAddiction to alcohol and drugs is spreading across the United States like wildfire. However, different US regions have different drugs of choice. A popular in one part of the country can vary wildly from that in another. These variations are driven by cultural differences, drug availability, or a combination of both factors. Drug abuse by state can vary quite widely, but some things are universal.

Marijuana and alcohol are found everywhere, but Heroin and Methamphetamine addictions vary based on your locale.

We studied public treatment statistics obtained from SAMHSA to assess these trends. Here are the facts about drug abuse by state.

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Heroin and Amphetamine Use by State

Heroin is the drug that most presents a striking difference. For the majority of regions in the United States, heroin treatment rates hover around 10 to 15%. However, in the northeastern US, the number skyrockets 35% of addictions being treated. The West comes in the second place spot at 2nd with a 17% heroin addiction rate. That’s a marked difference.

Amphetamines also display a wide variance between regions. In this statistic, the Northeast abuse rate is under 1% while the West has a 22% use rate. The Southwest ranks second at 15%. This is the result of the rise in abuse of methamphetamines.


  • Northeast – 34%
  • West – 16%
  • Midwest – 12%


  • West – 21%
  • Southwest – 15%
  • Midwest – 11%

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Marijuana and Alcohol Use by State

Alcohol is still the top dog when it comes to addiction treatment. All US regions report the highest numbers of users reporting for treatment abuse of this drug alone or in addition to other drugs. This category has an average usage range 30-35%; however, it tops out in the Midwest region in which alcohol represents 43% of addictions.

Treatment of marijuana use is relatively evenly distributed from region to region with the Northeast holding the lowest rate at 13% and the Southeast holding the highest at 22%. Over the coming years, it will be valuable to observe shifts in these numbers along with the expansion of recreational and medical cannabis to many states in these regions.


  • Midwest – 25%
  • West – 21%
  • Northeast – 19%

Alcohol + Other

  • Midwest – 18%
  • West – 17%
  • Southeast – 16%


  • Southeast – 21%
  • Midwest – 19%
  • Northeast – 19%

Cocaine and Other Drug Abuse by State

Drug and Alcohol Abuse | Drug Overdose Deaths by State | Find Addiction Rehabs | Glass of whisky and prescription drugsCocaine and crack represent the smallest percentages in every region – aside from the “other” drugs category.

This tells us that what used to be one of the most abused drugs nationally is now dropping as users have begun to prefer other drugs. The fact remains, however, that these numbers represent only those who reported for drug treatment.

Drugs that society considers acceptable or which allow the user to function normally may not rank as high on this list. In fact, it’s sometimes difficult to get into treatment for cocaine addiction, and a user often needs other extenuating circumstances to be accepted.

Education and prevention efforts in these states over the coming years would be well served with the inclusion of better outreach and categorization of addiction, as well as introducing more outpatient resources that provide stimulant treatment along the lines of the evidence-based Matrix Model.


  • Southeast – 9%
  • Southwest – 8%
  • Northeast – 6%


  • Southwest – 10%
  • Southeast – 6%
  • Midwest – 4%

How does this all add up in your mind? Does this represent your vision of America’s relationship with drugs? We look forward to updating this article and have continued to build out our state resource pages to help those needing addiction treatment services in each state decide the best course of action.

From our recent comprehensive resource guide to drug and alcohol treatment options in Colorado, to complete coverage across the states of the Pacific Northwest (with a new guide to addiction services in Oregon, as well as Washington state) the team at Find Addiction Rehabs has dedicated itself to providing complete information for those pondering whether or not to travel for rehab or find services in their home state.

Dedicated to Delivering Addiction Resources Across the USA

Along with our existing resource pages for such addiction treatment bastions as California and Florida, these pages will continually be updated and expanded upon as a crucial touchpoint for those seeking addiction treatment, either for themselves or their loved ones. With these state-specific features standing alongside our existing, always fresh blog posts and articles from those involved in both addiction treatment and recovery, it is our hope that Find Addiction Rehabs will become your single stop for everything related to recovery from substance use disorders of any kind.

Stay tuned to our drug abuse by state page for updated statistics as they are released, and for a continuous look at the challenges faced by each state in our great country as we struggle to overcome the current ‘epidemic within a pandemic’ brought on by opioid overdose deaths (as well as increasing amounts of overdose due to meth, especially in minority communities.) We look forward to serving you with the most current, relevant information to provide the accurate, comprehensive addiction resources you need; when you need them.

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