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 difference, 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 Amphetamines

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

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 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%.


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

Alcohol + Other

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


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

Cocaine and Other Drugs

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.

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 in treatment for a cocaine addiction, and a user often needs other extenuating circumstances to be accepted.


  • 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?

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