Which Drug Is Your State Most Addicted to? This Map Reveals a Disturbing Trend

Which Drug Is Your State Most Addicted to? This Map Reveals a Disturbing Trend

The Obama administration has committed over $10 billion to drug education programs and support for expanding access to treatment. According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)prescription drug abuse is the country's "fastest-growing drug problem" and has been classified as an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

The following findings reveal the most recent data available from the ONDCP. The map depicts the drug that was most commonly cited among primary drug treatment admissions in each state. Alcohol is not included in the data.

As is clearly illustrated, data from New England and neighboring states indicates a particularly disturbing trend: a growing addiction to heroin.


Image Credit: Fiona Breslin

New England's heroin problem may be one of the biggest public health issues of the past few years. Vermont is the epicenter of the explosion in heroin addiction in New England. The state has seen an increase of more than 250% in people receiving heroin treatment since 2000. The greatest percentage increase, nearly 40%, occurred this past year. In 2013, there were twice as many federal indictments against heroin dealers than in the previous two years, and over five times as many as had been obtained in 2010. And last year, Vermont had nearly twice the number of deaths from heroin overdose as it did the prior year.

While the a public health crisis stemming from heroin overdoses has been building for years, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin finally brought the subject to national attention in January after focusing his entire State of the State address to the region's heroin crisis. In June, the governors from five New England states facing a heroin crisis they call of "epidemic proportions" met to devise a regional strategy to combat the rise in overdoses and deaths from opioid abuse.

Scores of towns and cities across New England, indeed across the country, have reported record numbers of overdoses and deaths. The governors agreed to share data on painkiller prescriptions and devise treatment agreements among their state Medicaid programs. “We’re saying the sky’s the limit,” Gov. Shumlin told the New York Times. “Let’s treat it like the public health crisis it is.”

Below, you'll find a breakdown of addiction by state:

 - Alabama: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Alabama, followed by cocaine and other opiates including prescription drugs. 

 - Alaska: In 2010, marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by other opiates including prescription drugs. 

 - Arizona: The rate of drug-induced deaths in Arizona is higher than the national average. Between 2007 and 2008, Arizona was among the top 10 states for the rate of use of drugs other than marijuana among young adults aged 18 to 25. 

 - Arkansas: Marijuana, followed by stimulants (including methamphetamine) is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Arkansas. 

 - California: 36% percent of voluntary admissions were for stimulants (including methamphetamine) while only 25% were for marijuana.  

 - Colorado: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Colorado.

 - Connecticut: Connecticut is one of the top 10 states for dependence on illicit drugs among young adults ages 18 to 25. Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions.

 - Delaware: "Other opiates," primarily prescription drugs, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed closely by marijuana and heroin.

 - Florida: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Florida, followed by other opiates (including prescription drugs).

 - Georgia: The data show that cocaine is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Georgia.

 - Hawaii: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Hawaii, followed closely by stimulants (including methamphetamine).

 - Idaho: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. Nearly 50% of primary drug treatment admissions in Idaho were for marijuana.

 - Illinois: Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - Indiana: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug in Indiana. 

 - Iowa: Marijuana, followed by stimulants (including methamphetamine), is the most commonly cited drug.

 - Kansas: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by stimulants.

 - Kentucky: Opiates, including prescription drugs, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in Kentucky.

 - Louisiana: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by cocaine. 

 - Maine: Opiates, including prescription drugs, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. Marijuana is a far second behind.  

 - Maryland: Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Maryland.

 - Massachusetts: Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. Marijuana comes in at a distant fourth after opiates and cocaine.

 - Michigan: Marijuana, followed by heroin, is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. 

 - Minnesota: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, and it leads pretty far ahead of other drugs. 

 - Mississippi: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. The large prevalence of "other/unknown" treatment admissions indicates these data are not currently being reported by certain providers.

 - Missouri: Marijuana, followed by stimulants (including methamphetamine), is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - Montana: Marijuana, followed by opiates, is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - Nebraska: Stimulants, including methamphetamine, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed closely by marijuana.

 - Nevada: Stimulants, including methamphetamine, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in Nevada.

 - New Hampshire: Opiates (including prescription drugs) are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by heroin and marijuana. 

 - New Jersey: Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. Marijuana trailed fairly far behind. 

 - New Mexico: Data not available, but at a glance, in 2007-2008, New Mexico ranked first among all states for illicit drug dependence among persons age 12 and older. The drug-induced death rate in New Mexico is significantly higher than the national average. Approximately 9% of New Mexico residents reported past-month use of illicit drugs; the national average was 8%.

 - New York: Heroin, followed by marijuana then cocaine, is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - North Carolina: Marijuana, followed by cocaine, is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - North Dakota: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. Aside from opiates and stimulants, the use of other drugs is almost negligent. 

 - Ohio: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Ohio, followed by heroin.

 - Oklahoma: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by stimulants (including methamphetamine) following closely behind.

 - Oregon: The data show marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - Pennsylvania: Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by marijuana.

 - Rhode Island: Heroin is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by marijuana.

 - South Carolina: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in South Carolina, surpassing primary treatment admissions for stimulants (including methampetamine) and other opiates (including many prescription drugs).

 - South Dakota: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in South Dakota, followed by stimulants (including methamphetamine) and other opiates (including prescription drugs). 

 - Tennessee: Opiates, primarily prescription drugs, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - Texas: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by cocaine, then heroin. 

 - Utah: Stimulants (including methamphetamine), followed by marijuana and heroin, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in Utah. 

 - VermontOpiates, including prescription drugs, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by marijuana.

 - Virginia: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - Washington: Marijuana, followed by stimulants (including methamphetamine), is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state. 

 - Washington, D.C.: Heroin and cocaine/crack are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the District of Columbia, each separately counting as 32% of all treatment admissions in 2011. 

 - West Virginia: The data show that opiates, including prescription drugs, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary drug treatment admissions in the state.

 - Wisconsin: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in Wisconsin, followed by cocaine. 

 - Wyoming: Marijuana is the most commonly cited drug among primary drug treatment admissions in the state, followed by stimulants (including methamphetamine) and other opiates (including prescription drugs).




Image Credit: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services