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West Virginia
28.19%
Kentucky
24.99%
Louisiana
23.82%
Missouri
23.54%
Oklahoma
23.15%
Ohio
23.06%
Arkansas
22.57%
Mississippi
22.52%
Tennessee
22.03%
Indiana
21.61%
Alabama
21.24%
Alaska
20.44%
Wyoming
20.3%
North Dakota
19.77%
South Dakota
19.75%
South Carolina
19.66%
New Mexico
19.51%
Georgia
19.49%
Kansas
19.4%
North Carolina
19.13%
Maine
19.03%
Iowa
18.79%
Vermont
18.5%
Nevada
18.24%
Rhode Island
17.92%
Michigan
17.87%
Montana
17.13%
Delaware
17.03%
Pennsylvania
16.54%
Wisconsin
16.54%
Minnesota
16.52%
Illinois
16.47%
Texas
16.43%
Nebraska
16.36%
Arizona
16.13%
Idaho
15.61%
Oregon
15.49%
New York
15.34%
Maryland
15.17%
Florida
14.97%
Virginia
14.9%
New Hampshire
14.58%
Colorado
14.25%
Washington
13.88%
Connecticut
13.6%
District of Columbia
13.47%
Massachusetts
13.1%
Hawaii
12.38%
New Jersey
11.76%
California
10.95%
Utah
10.56%

Drug Use by State 2024

Drug Use by State 2024

Drug abuse has been a growing problem in the United States for decades. Although there have been many efforts to lower the number of people using and addicted to illegal drugs in the country, the numbers have been rising. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of drug users and overdose deaths rose. In the twelve-month period between April 2020 and April 2021, over 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses. This was a 28.5% increase over the previous year.

A report by WalletHub looked at data comparing the overdose rates, amount of opioid prescriptions, drug arrests, and other statistics to see which states have the most issues with drug use and abuse. This also gives insight into which states and areas could be better targeted with education and rehabilitation efforts.

Overall Drug Use Statistics

When data was compiled, three main categories were compared: drug use and addiction, law enforcement, and drug health issues and rehab. Each was ranked and weighted to come up with an overall score.

The states and territories with the highest scores include West Virginia(58.42), the District of Columbia (57.24), Arkansas (54.02), Missouri (53.36), New Mexico (52.67), Nevada (52.41), Colorado (52.40), Michigan (52.09), Oregon (49.66), and Tennessee(48.91).

Conversely, the ten states with the lowest overall scores were Minnesota (22.93), Hawaii (25.20), Utah (28.57), Idaho (30.30), Iowa (32.81), North Dakota (33.19), Nebraska (33.58), Virginia (33.77), South Dakota (33.87), and Georgia (34.18).

Drug Use by Age

One of the concerns for many people regarding drug use and abuse is the number of teenagers who are using and abusing drugs. Because of this, it is important to study where drug use is highest in this age group. By targeting teenagers for rehabilitation, it may be possible to lower the number of life-long drug users.

Arizona, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Vermont have the highest percentage of teen drug users. The lowest percentage of teen drug users can be found in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

Vermont is the only state that ranks at the top of states with a high percentage of adult drug users as well. Other states with a high percentage of adult drug users are Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The lowest percentage of adult drug users are located in Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia.

Opioids and Overdose

Opioids have been responsible for many of the growing issues regarding drug use and overdose in the country. Many medical professionals are making efforts to decrease the prescription of opioids in order to reduce dependence and illicit use. States that have the lowest number of opioid prescriptions per 100 residents are California, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York. The Highest number of opioid prescriptions are written in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Looking at all of these statistics on drug users and opioid prescription, there are some links that can be made to states with the highest overdose deaths. The states with the highest number of deaths are Tennessee, Kentucky, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Ohio, and West Virginia. Of these, only three are not in the highest of teen drug users, adult drug users, or opioid prescriptions.

Similarly, the states with the lowest number of overdose deaths correlate to lower numbers in other categories as well. Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Iowa, and Montana are the states with the fewest overdose deaths. Only Iowa and Montana were not also in the list of states with the lowest percentage of adult drug users.

Drug Use by State 2024

  • Data applies to the 2021-2022 period.
  • Estimates are for individuals aged 18 and above.
  • Drug use percentages are sourced from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which calculates percentages by comparing the number of individuals exhibiting drug use to overall population totals. The estimates have a 95% confidence interval.

Download Table Data

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State
Cigarette Use Past Month
Tobacco Use Past Month
Binged Alcohol Past Month
Alcohol Use Past Month
Pain Reliever Misuse Past Month
Meth Use Past Month
Heroin Use Past Month
Cocaine Use Past Month
Illicit Drug Use Past Month
Marijuana Use Past Month
West Virginia28.19%35.22%17.85%35.78%3.78%2.39%1.01%1.74%16.7%14.96%
Kentucky24.99%30.96%20.78%42.35%3.79%1.84%1%1.75%13.05%11.04%
Louisiana23.82%29.42%26.68%49.89%4.26%1.78%0.77%2.23%15.89%13.82%
Missouri23.54%29.53%22.67%52.24%3.92%1.51%0.43%1.57%18.09%17.06%
Oklahoma23.15%28.36%22.06%44.65%4.05%1.56%0.37%1.75%19.79%18.95%
Ohio23.06%27.69%26.38%53.12%3.49%1.22%0.39%2.36%17.04%15.64%
Arkansas22.57%27.85%20.87%43.49%4.02%1.91%0.41%1.38%13.3%11.73%
Mississippi22.52%28.42%20.6%41.95%3.87%1.7%0.5%1.51%13.25%11.76%
Tennessee22.03%27.52%21.77%48.02%4.04%1.54%0.68%1.69%12.5%10.69%
Indiana21.61%25.91%22.55%50.87%3.37%1.36%0.45%1.52%13.98%13.08%
Alabama21.24%27.76%20.34%43.27%4.45%1.53%0.44%1.49%11.61%9.1%
Alaska20.44%24.71%23.11%53.59%3.04%1.12%0.61%1.45%24.25%23.39%
Wyoming20.3%26.56%23.83%52.73%3.23%1.57%0.39%1.29%11.75%10.76%
North Dakota19.77%26.22%29%60.52%3.08%1.3%0.42%1.59%12.63%11.97%
South Dakota19.75%24.25%25.16%56%2.78%1.16%0.44%1.39%12.37%11.41%
South Carolina19.66%24.25%22.89%51.6%3.43%1.17%0.63%1.83%12.65%11.26%
New Mexico19.51%24.31%24.99%49.62%3.87%1.72%0.4%2%24.59%22.28%
Georgia19.49%23.69%20.9%49.14%3.15%0.88%0.44%1.61%13.78%12.76%
Kansas19.4%24.23%25.6%55.77%3.39%0.97%0.24%1.49%14.25%12.89%
North Carolina19.13%23.13%20.82%47.71%2.99%0.75%0.57%1.85%12.54%10.92%
Maine19.03%21.89%20.88%53.41%2.3%1.13%0.74%2.19%23.15%22.07%
Iowa18.79%23.34%25.71%58.54%2.76%1.4%0.31%1.55%14.03%12.33%
Vermont18.5%22.6%28.57%61.16%2.93%0.55%0.67%2.99%27.53%25.45%
Nevada18.24%21.92%25.34%51.62%4.46%2.44%0.33%1.94%23.66%21.43%
Rhode Island17.92%21.84%27.54%57.73%3.5%0.76%0.64%2.67%20.68%19.04%
Michigan17.87%22.31%23.59%54.58%2.74%0.67%0.3%1.61%20.44%19.64%
Montana17.13%23.34%27.66%58.96%2.73%1.66%0.35%1.65%20.75%19.51%
Delaware17.03%20.48%22.84%55.58%3.29%0.76%0.68%2.18%16.24%14.84%
Pennsylvania16.54%22.49%22.31%54.83%3.06%0.67%0.39%2.11%16.59%14.24%
Wisconsin16.54%21.02%30.97%63.08%2.51%0.77%0.3%1.87%14.45%12.76%
Minnesota16.52%19.96%26.07%56.78%2.65%1.14%0.41%1.8%17.47%16.38%
Illinois16.47%20.93%25.11%55.28%3.04%1.02%0.53%2.18%18.23%17.12%
Texas16.43%21%24.08%48.91%3.29%0.9%0.23%1.45%10.87%9.57%
Nebraska16.36%20.66%27.43%56.68%2.7%1.18%0.38%1.67%12.41%10.78%
Arizona16.13%20.15%24.13%50.25%3.49%0.92%0.28%1.85%20.96%19.95%
Idaho15.61%20.14%23.07%48.54%3.18%0.95%0.34%1.75%13.24%12.11%
Oregon15.49%19.56%24.03%58.22%3.99%1.28%0.37%2.2%25.37%23.03%
New York15.34%18.24%25.42%53.31%3.11%0.53%0.39%2.35%18%16.89%
Maryland15.17%18.08%22%53.36%3.65%0.44%0.81%2.08%16.68%14.93%
Florida14.97%18.27%21.73%53.27%2.72%0.56%0.24%1.54%13.85%12.67%
Virginia14.9%19.53%23.2%54.94%2.78%0.45%0.39%2.03%15.46%13.86%
New Hampshire14.58%17.69%25.11%63.01%2.59%0.69%0.38%1.37%17.04%15.13%
Colorado14.25%19.79%26.58%59.41%3.31%0.88%0.27%3.06%21.99%20.54%
Washington13.88%17.53%21.54%53.73%2.93%1.36%0.41%2.01%23.97%22.26%
Connecticut13.6%17.78%23.62%61.07%2.81%0.44%0.39%2.26%17.09%15.65%
District of Columbia13.47%16.81%34.34%66.25%2.84%0.4%0.52%2.79%22.96%21.86%
Massachusetts13.1%16.69%24.81%57.38%2.82%0.55%0.83%2.61%21.71%20.77%
Hawaii12.38%15.1%22.23%48.42%2.86%0.99%0.47%2.06%15.17%12.29%
New Jersey11.76%14.66%24.38%55.36%2.94%0.8%0.56%1.68%14.76%13.98%
California10.95%13.22%22.87%51.39%3.11%1.48%0.33%2.51%17.64%16.05%
Utah10.56%14.05%15.34%32.64%3.59%1.3%0.42%1.5%12.17%10.26%
showing: 51 rows

Sources