Learn About The National Opioid & Addiction Epidemic
No other country has been affected by drug abuse and the war on drugs like the United States. Learn how addiction and the opioid epidemic is affecting every state.
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How Big Is The Addiction Epidemic?
Drug overdoses are more deadly than gun violence, car crashes, and AIDS.
We’ve become immune. From deep gasp reactions and widened eyes from the news of one overdose - we now merely blink at the numbers that are quickly rising. From headlines of politicians, celebrities, and local heroes suffering an addiction, to government interventions and local legislature used as a stronghold, it’s true that the war on drugs is a wildfire that cannot be contained.
Spent on The War on Drugs This Year
**That's per day**
People Aged 12 And Older Who Need Treatment for Addiction Since 2015
**That's per day**
Deaths From Drug Overdoses Since 2000
**That's per day**
But how did this all begin? Take a look into the opioid crisis, one state at a time.
What has started in our homes, cities, and states as a misuse of pills, has sprung into a crippling catastrophe across the country that has become harder and harder to maintain - and it’s not losing momentum. We’ve seen family members, friends, neighbors, and loved ones suffer through the crippling effects of drug and alcohol addiction - but we’ve also seen many defy the statistics to reach the pinnacle of recovery by entering treatment in their state.
The Opioid Epedmic By State
Click each state to learn more
How Addiction Affects Alabama
No stranger to the opioid epidemic, in 2013 Alabama became the highest prescribing state in the country of illicit substances. Physicians in Alabama prescribe more opioids than any other state. While the rates of alcohol abuse consumption is lower for Alabama residents than the rest of the national average, the most commonly abused substances include Vicodin, Xanax, and Ritalin or Adderall. In 2015, Alabama passed a law to protect "Good Samaritans" who provide help to potential victims of overdose by administering naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, a life-saving opioid-reversal medication. In 2016, an additional law was passed to give state and county health officers the authority to write standing orders for the opioid-reversal medication.
- More than 91,300 people in Alabama over the age of 17 have suffered from addiction to illicit drugs in the past year.
- In 2015, doctors wrote 5.8 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers.
- Out of 50 states, Alabama ranks 18th for drug-related deaths.
How Addiction Affects Alaska
It's true. The last frontier is among the first in the nation with substance abuse problems. While alcohol is Alaska's number one drug of choice, it continues to make the list in the top ten states with the most illicit drug use per capita. With alcohol at the top, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs come in as a close second. It wasn't until 20 years after prohibition ended that Alaska natives could purchase alcohol, however it wasn't until 1979 that the state revised its laws and allowed communities themselves to make the decision to allow it or prohibit it. In turn, 109 communites voted to outlaw the substance. Now, more than 35 years later, with the states minimal population, it continues to see high rates of issues surrounding substance abuse. According to a 2015 report by the Alaska State Troopers, there were 593 heroin arrests - which is a large number considering the states low population. Meth is also a large problem in the state, as eight meth labs were seized between 2013 and 2015. Twice as big as the state of Texas, Alaska continues to run rampant with drug and alcohol use, providing limited resources to those who are in need of treatment.
- The rate of alcohol-related deaths in Alaska is three times higher than the rate of the rest of the United States.
- A bottle of alcohol legally purchased for less than $10 in a city liquor store can be sold in a dry village for $150 to $300 per bottle.
- With an average homeless population of 5,000 there are an estimated of 15 of those that freeze to death each year, and most of them are addicts and alcoholics.
How Addiction Affects Arizona
Arizona can be named as one of the worst states hit by the drug epidemic. As the fifteenth most populous state in the country, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention reported that Arizona has come in twelfth for drug and overdose deaths as of 2014. Arizona is only 400 miles away from the Mexican border, near Sonora - the Mexican state known for drug trafficking. This fact gives rise to the level of addiction in the state as well as a rise to violence between drug cartels looking to take over certain areas, as 40% of all drugs coming into the United States from Mexico go through Arizona borders. Alcohol is the most widely abused drug in the state, with heroin and methamphetaminefollowing closely behind. 38% of drug addicts in Arizona are addicted to methamphetamine, and 42% of drug addicts in the state are addicted to heroin and other opiates. In June of 2017, Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey declared a state-wide public health emergency. As a result, the Arizona Department of Health Services has started implementing more resources to understand the harrowing drug epidemic the state is facing by continuing to address it with preventative measures.
- 96% of adults in Maricopa County drug court, which is the most populated in Arizona use methamphetamine as their primary drug.
- In 2016 there were 790 opioid deaths, which increased by 16% compared to the previous year.
- The average age of heroin addicts in Arizona are between the ages of 36 and 40.
How Addiction Affects Arkansas
While Arkansas hugs the Mississippi River, its beautiful terrain consists of mountains, caves, rivers and hot springs. As the state continues to boast about their infamous college team, "The Razorbacks," the rural landscapes has a widely scattered population with Little Rock resting in the center of the state as the city with the greatest density of residents. Arkansas ranks lower than the national average in regard to alcohol and cocaine abuse, however it ranks higher than the national average in abuse of methamphetamine and inhalants and sends almost as many people to rehab as alcohol. In November of 2017, HBO released a documentary titled, "Meth Storm," highlighting the depth of the drug problem and showing the lack of economic opportunity that continue to devastate rural Arkansas communities. Additionally, the state continues to struggle with the nationwide gut-wrenching opioid epidemic as the state with the 25th highest death rate in the country due to prescription drugs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Arkansas had 169 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016.
- Arkansas is the 17th in the nation for meth lab busts, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Most other drugs are trafficked in.
- Arkansas is among ten states with the most meth use and arrests, according to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. The state with the most is Nevada.
- A survey in 2014 reported that nearly 70% of property crimes in Arkansas were methamphetamine related.
How Addiction Affects California
It's no doubt that with 37,253,956 citizens, California is the most populated state in the Country. However, this means more opportunity for everything including drug and alcohol abuse. California is estimated to have at least three million people who are addicted to legal drugs. Some of the most popular drugs in this state are heroin, prescription painkillers, and methamphetamine. As Southern California is close to the Mexican border, it serves as a hotspot for drug dealers and smugglers to buy and sell illegal substances. While the state is also known as the tech mecca of the nation, particularly in the Bay area, it may not come as a surprise that Santa Clara County had some of the highest binge drinking rates between 2002 and 2012. Additionally, the use of medical marijuana in California continues to boom, and the drug jumped ahead of alcohol treatment for the first time in 2010 since 2005. While there are vast amounts of resources for California citizens to receive treatment - especially in Southern California, those that have able to have access to quality treatment considering how high expenses are, are limited.
- In 2012, drug abuse took 11 lives each day in the California, making it the number one premature killer in the state.
- Approximately 10% of California residents reported past month use of illicit drugs.
- California has the largest medical marijuana market in the U.S. totaling just over $1,300,000,000
How Addiction Affects Colorado
Overall, Colorado's use of alcohol and other drugs is much higher than the national average. While almost five years after the legalization of marijuana, the landscape of drug use, abuse, and addiction has changed a great deal - and most of those changes are not for the better. As medical cannabis laid the foundation for the legal pot industry that can be seen in almost every Colorado town, Coloradans are ambivalent about the issue. However, legalization of marijuana seems to be here to stay. On the flip side, opioid abuse has spread through the state, devastating rural communities as well as large metropolitan areas such as Denver. This problem has become so serious that a number of years ago, Governor John Hickenlooper played an active role in launching, "Take Meds Seriously," a public awareness campaign hoping to address prescription medication abuse. With this in such, heroin abuse has been on the rise, primarily because so many people were/are abusing prescription opioids, now both more expensive and harder to acquire for abusers. Heroin in larger areas such as Denver can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of a pill. In the Rocky Mountain region, methamphetamine is the number one drug problem and not only impacts the users of the drug, but the larger community. As a major transportation hub, Denver serves as a rail hub for the Rocky Mountain and Plains regions, as well as home to one of the largest international airports. For these reasons, Mexican cartels use the state as a shipment site for methamphetamine, heroin, and other illicit substances.
- According to DrugAbuse.gov, in 2014, a study showed that around 530,000 Coloradans use marijuana at least once a month.
- The same site noted that on average, 35 Coloradans die every month from unintentional prescription overdoses.
- During the year 2014, federal agents seized 15,000 pounds of methamphetamine at the border of the state.
How Addiction Affects Connecticut
According to the National Survey on Drug Use, Connecticut ranks among the top in the nation for dependence on illicit drugs, and those that are 18 to 25 years old are most likely to report dependence. Recently surpassing cocaine addiction, heroin can be accounted for as the most used drug in the state with Waterbury, Hartford, and New Haven consistently ranking for the first three towns with the most overdose deaths every year since 2012. In 2015, there were more than 500 deaths related to narcotic substances which made up nearly three-quarters of all overdose deaths. Between 2012 and 2015 alone, the number of deaths related to drug overdose doubled. While heroin and opioids are a large concern for the "Nutmeg State," another issue of alcohol looms in the background. A national survey noted that Connecticut ranks number one in youth alcohol use. Lawmakers have passed bills in response to the crisis, and among them, measures have been implemented to create a prescription database, in addition to provide more training for health and public safety officials.
- On average, two people die of a drug overdose everyday in Connecticut.
- As of 2006, there were 209 substance abuse treatment facilities in the state and only 25% of those programs offered detox.
- In 2010, 51,983 people admitted to drug and alcohol treatment programs in the state.
How Addiction Affects Delaware
Like countless areas across the country, addiction carries a stigma; and for Delaware it has been one of the main problems that has prevented people from getting the help and treatment they need. As the opioid crisis continues to skyrocket, the state continues to have a lack of adequate treatment facilities. However, New Castle County police and others have been working hard to make treatment options more accessible with programs that help addicts and alcoholics get treatment rather than go to jail. The state is flanked by three of the East Coast's high-intensity drug trafficking areas including Washington D.C. in the south, and New York and New Jersey in the north, making Delaware susceptible to higher rates of drug abuse and overdose. Along the beaches and college areas of the small state, alcohol use statistics can be higher for those between the ages of 18 and 25. According to a 2007 Drugabuse.gov survey, nearly a quarter of those people were also current marijuana users, and additionlly three out of ten under-aged citizens consumed alcohol with two-thirds of them binge drinking at least once a month. With these staggering numbers, it's clear that Delaware residents need regular access to treatment facilities that may help them address their needs. In 2017, to help address this issue, state officials launched a website known as HelpIsHereDE.com which is housed under the State Department of Health and Social Services, which hopes to introduce viewers to real people who have been affected by heroin. On the website, police officers, parents, people in recovery, and others answer basic questions in video interviews to debunk the stigma of addiction and help people understand that recovery can be found on many different paths.
- In 2017 the state recorded 185 suspected overdose deaths, according to the State Department of Health and Social Services
- In 2009, 1,668 people entered drug rehab for heroin addiction.
- According to the U.S. Dept of Justice, cocaine is the second greatest drug threat to Delaware. In 2009, 668 individuals entered rehab for cocaine dependence.
How Addiction Affects Florida
As many flock to the "Sunshine State" to receive treatment, Florida can also be known as the rehab capital of the world. Each year, thousands arrive from states such as Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania hoping that they'll find recovery. However, in 2014, an estimated 410,000 Florida residents were addicted to drugs or alcohol and in 2016 there were over 5,000 drug overdoses alone in the state. Over recent years, the drug epidemic has grown so exponentially that Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 2017 and proposed $54 million in education programs, grants, and prevention treatment services for drug abuse. Since, the states attorney general's office has been working hard to reduce the number of pill mills. According to the DEA's Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System, of the top 100 oxycodone-purchasing physicians in the nation in 2010, 90 were located in Florida. This led to the state tightening their prescribing practices and the closure of many facilities and clinics who were not routinely practicing ethically. Many facilities in Florida offer specialized programs to better help clients, whether they be gender-specific, dual-diagnosis, or medication-assisted as needed.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse there were 2,798 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state.
- In 2013, Florida providers wrote 69.6 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons, compared to the average U.S. rate of 79.3.
- Florida ranks fifth for violent crimes in the United States as a result of drug-related activities.
How Addiction Affects Georgia
While Atlanta is covered with tall trees and picturesque city scenes, addiction can be seen lurking closely behind. In Georgia, addiction is a city and state-wide problem and doesn't discriminate. In the state, there are 262 addiction rehab facilities and 183 sober living facilities for alcoholics and addicts. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2011, "Georgia drug-induced deaths were lower than the national rate. This isn't a significant difference, however it does suggest that Georgia may offer programs, policies, and resources that other states do not. Georgia has harsh criminal laws concerning illegal drugs, however abuse still continues to remain a problem across many different age groups and demographics. While some metropolitan cities such as Atlanta have seen decreases in use of substances such as cocaine, marijuana and MDMA, usage of heroin and methamphetamine seem to be on the rise.
- According to the National Substance Abuse Index, methamphetamine was the primary drug of abuse from 2002 to 2007 for Georgians between the ages of 21 and 25. Heroin was the primary drug of abuse among 14.8 percent of people from 41 to 45.
- Statewide, MDMA and GHB are the most commonly abused club drugs. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug.
- In 2016, there were 918 opioid-related overdose deaths in Georgia.
How Addiction Affects Hawaii
While some may picture a lush landscape of palm trees and beaches, many picture Hawaii as a breath of fresh air away from the devastation of the opioid epidemic. Some may be surprised that Hawaii faces another deadly threat in the drug world - methamphetamine. The most recent reports from the National Substance Abuse Index say that methamphetamine is Hawaii's most used drug and primary drug threat. Hawaii's pipeline for meth can be rather surprising, as couriers and parcel service members are primarily responsible for transporting crystal meth to Hawaii from the mainland, and meth lab seizures that are "conversion labs" are also prevalent throughout the islands. While meth can be considered one of the biggest problems, there are other types of drugs that are commonly abused in the state such as marijuana. While Hawaii is a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), its heavy tourist and commercial traffic increases drug threats and poses challenges for law enforcement each year. The state is also known to have many drug trafficking organizations, gangs, and criminal groups that have been widely known to traffic drugs throughout the islands. In recent years, the state has received multiple grants to study statewide substance abuse in order to moderate treatment accordingly. As the grants are great steps in the right direction for the drug-filled paradise, it does little help for those who are currently addicted.
- Hawaii ranks number one in the nation for the percentage of treatment admission that are meth-related.
- The Center of Disease Control Youth Online reported 4,545 Hawaii high school students have used methamphetamine in their lifetime in 2013.
- 90% of federally sentenced drug cases in Hawaii involve meth.
How Addiction Affects Idaho
Idaho has a smaller population than many other states, however it is still dealing with a seemingly ever-growing problem with substance abuse. The most common substance abused in the state is alcohol with opioids following closely behind. There are as many alcohol-dependent people in Idaho as all other addictive substances combined. With the state's unique geography, the amount of drug trafficking throughout the state is alarmingly high. Ada and Canyon Counties can be considered a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking area, and much of Idaho's effort to decrease drug abuse focuses on Treasure Valley, which ranges from Boise to the Oregon border. By doing this, the state has included major cities including Caldwell, Nampa, and Meridian. At the beginning of 2018, Idaho's state health agency dramatically cut its spending on substance abuse treatment, due to a budget shortfall that took officials by surprise. These healthcare cuts have been keeping many into getting the proper health and treatment they need - especially IV methamphetamine users, men and women with alcohol addictions and some Idahoans who are court-ordered for treatment but cannot afford it. While these budget cuts are said to be temporary, they don't help for those seeking treatment currently in the state.
- In 2013, an Idaho citizen died every 39 hours because of a drug-induced death caused by illicit, prescription or over-the-counter drug use.
- Between 2009 and 2013, 5% of Idahoans ages 12 and older abused or were dependent upon alcohol.
- Since 2009, marijuana trafficking charges in the state have tripled.
How Addiction Affects Illinois
Illinois faces one of the worst prescription drug crisis in the nation. The most commonly abused substances in the state are medications such as Percocet, Dilaudid, and OxyContin. For many, this can progress into heroin use, since the drug is more easily accessible for those who are no longer able to obtain prescriptions. In turn, this has progressed into a statewide drug problem. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found that heroin is one of Illinois' most significant drug threats, particularly in Chicago, as well as its suburbs such as places like Will, McHenry, and DuPage counties, which are all considered heroin hot spots. While heroin is extremely prevalent in these metropolitan areas, alcohol is just as prevelant in the state, especially in more rural areas and considered a significant threat to public health. Almost 700,000 adults over 21 in Illinois reported heavy alcohol use in 2014, but only 35,000 received treatment. Illinois legislators and lawmakers are attempting to deal with the crisis, however the state's current health system is not adequately equipped to address the scale of this widespread problem. While there are dozens of treatment centers in Chicago as well as up and down the state, there are many private facilities that help with financing options for those that are seeking help.
- According to the Illinois Department of Human Services, the annual statewide economic costs associated with alcohol, other drug, and tobacco-related mortality is in excess of $3.5 billion.
- Nearly 33,000 people were arrested for DUI in Illinois in 2015, according to IDOT.
- About 2.5 percent of Illinoisans over the age of 12 abused or were dependent on illicit drugs during 2013 and 2014.
How Addiction Affects Indiana
Indiana is no exception to the worsening drug crisis in America, as the state ranked first in the nation for methamphetamine lab incidents in 2017. In Northwest Indiana, Starke County had the second-most per-capita meth-lab seizures in the state in 2015. Additionally, Indiana also ranked sixth for the number of drug-related arrests on college campuses, and ninth for opioid painkiller prescriptions. To combat this issue, the state passed a law last year limiting prescriptions to seven days for a person being prescribed an opiate for the first time. Recently, the state received $10.9 million from the federal government to combat the devastating opioid epidemic, 80 percent which must be spent on treatment. The State Legislature also allocated five million dollars over each of the next two fiscal years for substance abuse treatment, prevention, and enforcement.
- Indiana is ranked 14th in the nation for substance abuse, according to a 2017 study by research firm, WalletHub.
- According to a Pew study, Indiana has the fourth-largest shortage of substance abuse specialists of any state.
- The state also ranked 16th worst for the percentage of residents who needed substance abuse treatment but didn't receive it.
How Addiction Affects Iowa
Iowa has the second lowest rate of illegal drug use in the country, at a meandering 6.27 percent. However, the state has also continued to deal with record level methamphetamine abuse. In recent years, Iowa has cracked down on home-grown meth labs and ingredients used to make the drug and it has been a success. With 1,500 meth labs seized in 2004, the state seized less than 50 in 2017. Though, while the methamphetamine scene appears to be dwindling, the state is nowhere near from cleaning up its small-scale opioid epidemic. According to a report in 2016, opioid-related overdose deaths rose to an all-time high of 183. Marijuana use among Iowans in the state has also risen within the past three years and more people were killed in marijuana-related accidents than accidents related to any other drug, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation's most recent statistics. As for alcohol, the state's alcohol sales have steadily increased since the early 2000s. The state has no dry counties or municipalities. More recent data shows that of the people admitted to substance abuse treatment in the state, more than half were admitted because of alcohol.
- As of 2006, there were 125 drug and alcohol rehabs in the state.
- In 2016, there were 183 opioid-related overdose deaths in Iowa.
- In 2016, one in five Iowa adults were classified as binge drinkers.
How Addiction Affects Kansas
With Kansas no stranger to the opioid epidemic, the St. Louis Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration revealed a report on Kansas, including its metropolitan areas such as Overland Park, Kansas City, and Olathe. This report found that black tar heroin is the primary drug threat of these larger cities and most supplies of heroin and fentanyl continue to increase. While these supplies continue to increase, so do the number of fatalities in the state. In 2000 there were 35 overdose deaths that were attributed to opioids according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. However in 2016, that death toll climbed to 159. The administration also found that most of the fentanyl in these areas come from China, though some is sourced from Mexico and the dark web. In addition to the opioid issue, methamphetamine and crack cocaine have been a growing concern in the state and can be found in more rural areas such as Salina or Garden City. And while street drugs continue to be an issue for the state, doctors who have over prescribed opioids have also been a large problem. In 2017, the DEA used the Kansas Board of Pharmacy's drug monitoring system, called K-TRACS, in a case that sent 23 people, including Kansas doctors and a pharmacist to federal prison.
- In 2016, there were 146 opioid-related overdose deaths in Kansas.
- Across the last 14 years, there has been a steady decline in the number of admissions for alcohol and increases in admissions for cocaine and marijuana.
- The number of meth-lab seizures in the state increased from 43% from 100 incidents in 2007 to 143 incidents in 2009.
How Addiction Affects Kentucky
The abuse of prescription drugs is one of the most critical public health and safety issues facing Kentucky today. Over the past decade, the number of Kentuckians who have died from drug overdoses has steadily climbed to more than 1,500 each year, continuing to devastate families, communities, social services as well as economic stability and growth. In an effort to reverse this trend, the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and Operation UNITE launched a new substance abuse call center to connect people across the state with drug treatment. The KY HELP Call Center has provided referrals to both public and private treatment facilities. In addition, House Bill 333 in the 2017 session was passed to limit opioid prescriptions for acute pain to a three-day supply with certain exceptions. Senate Bill 192 in the 2015 session increased penalties for traffickers and included a number of harm-reduction measures aimed at reducing overdose deaths. This law also increased penalties for trafficking in heroin, and fentanyl.
- In 2016, Jefferson County, the state's most populous, reported 364 overdose deaths, by far the most in the state.
- The rates of alcohol abuse and dependence in the state have generally been at or below the national rates.
- Almost half of Kentucky substance abuse facilities provide mental health services in addition to drug and alcohol programming.
How Addiction Affects Louisiana
As one of America's most unique and exciting states, some may be surprised to find out that crack cocaine is the most prevalent drug in the state outside of New Orleans - with heroin and opioids being a highly sought after substance in the metropolitan city. As opioid prescription rates have been on the decline in the state, parishes within the Baton Rouge metro area have been seeing an average decrease of approximately 24 percent since reported highs in 2010, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These are staggering numbers, and can be seen as a direct effect from the Prescription Monitoring Program that was implemented in 2006. On another note, Louisiana continues to fight a battle against a rise in meth labs. With a 74 percent increase in lab seizures between 2005 and 2007, locating them has become more difficult, as meth-producers get creative. While Louisianan's continue to struggle, there are just over 15 different drug and alcohol treatment facilities that offer a 90-day program for addiction. However, there are number of other facilities that offer month-long stays.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were over 346 opioid-related deaths in 2016 in Louisiana.
- Between 2007 and 2008, Louisiana was one of the top ten states for rates in use of marijuana, prescription drugs, cocaine, and heroin.
- According to the 2006 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, the state had a total of 145 alcohol and drug treatment facilities.
How Addiction Affects Maine
Maine is known for its beautiful landscapes along the water and small-town fishing villages, however for some Maine residents, enjoying the rugged coastline cannot be experienced due to a full fledged addiction. The state's Substance Abuse Trend Report noted that Maine continues to struggle within the surge of the opioid epidemic. Misuse of prescription drugs appear to be the most significant substance abuse problem for the state. According to data from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, 18 to 25-year-olds were most likely to report past month misuse of prescription drugs, at a rate of nearly 10 percent. The next highest were abuse rates from individuals aged 24 to 35 at around 7%. From 2011 to 2014, Maine experienced a surge in illicit drug-related deaths, which increased 340 percent and the majority of those overdoses involved heroin, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, and oxycodone. In recent years, Maine has been organizing initiatives in an effort to raise awareness about substance abuse prevention and treatment and in this effort more beginning to seek help. Between 2010 and 2014 alone, the number of heroin users seeking treatment in the state tripled - from roughly 1,000 to more than 3,000.
- Somerset and Kennebec counties have the highest rates of prescription drug abuse - 76.8 and 8.7 pills per capita, respectively.
- In 2016, there were more than 301 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state.
- There are more than 15 treatment facilities in the state that help those suffering recover from addiction.
How Addiction Affects Maryland
As the raging drug crisis continues on, Maryland is one state that faces an even scarier opioid problem. A report at the beginning of 2018 noted that while prescription drug and heroin overdose deaths are down across the state, fentanyl is killing more residents than ever. More than two-thirds of all overdose deaths through September of 2017 involved fentanyl. The Maryland Department of Health showed that from January through September of 2017, there were 1,501 opioid-related deaths in the state including 1,173 fentanyl-related deaths. In 2016, Maryland's Governor, Larry Hogan signed into law the "Opioid-Associated Disease Prevention and Outreach Act," which is a harm-reduction strategy aimed to stem the spread of infectious diseases among intravenous drug users. One of the main provisions of the law was that Maryland residents would have improved access to sterile syringes and needle exchange programs. With that being said, the law is a direct response to the rising rates of HIV in Maryland. Outside of heroin and fentanyl, alcohol can be considered another leading substance abused in the state. Between 2015 and 2016 there were 891 people that died from alcohol overdose. While Maryland has no shortage of devastation due to the opioid epidemic, it has one of the highest rates of drug users in the United States. However, it also has no shortage of substance abuse treatment programs. While private treatment settings are an option, the state also has many non-profit and government funded residential programs where those struggling will get counseling and the help they need to beat their addiction.
- Maryland has consistently been among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Maryland prescribers wrote 3.9 million opioid prescriptions in 2016.
- In 2016, opioids account for 418 overdose deaths in the state.
How Addiction Affects Massachusetts
As a picturesque state, Bay State residents seem to have been hit harder by the opioid epidemic than other states. The National Review reported that close to every one of four residents, Massachusetts has been directly impacted by the opioid epidemic, and 25 percent of residents have lost a loved one to an overdose. The Massachusetts DPH published that close to 2,000 residents died from an opioid overdose in 2017. However, there is some news to suggest that efforts to combat the crisis in the state may be working. The Boston Globe published that opioid overdose deaths fell by just over eight percent from 2016 to 2017, though some counties are not following the same trend. Middlesex County ranked ninth in the United States out of all 44 counties for opioid overdose fatalities between 2000 and 2016. As the epidemic has worsened, state officials are doing a number of things to combat abuse and overdose. One of them being the "Prescription Monitoring Program," which helps to track the dispensing of controlled medications and alerts prescribers about potential concerns and misuse patterns. Another implement that has been put into place has been providing prescription drop box locations and kiosks all throughout the Commonwealth, allowing residents to dispose of unwanted prescription medications to keep them from being diverted and misused. In 2014, the state had the second highest rate of opioid-related hospitalizations in the country. The dire attempts to combat this crisis is a clear indicator that the Commonwealth is indeed going through a crisis. Fortunately multiple treatment options are available throughout the state.
- A 2004 report revealed that nearly half of the 54,605 people who sought help for their addiction were dealing with an addiction to heroin, and the rest were addicted to alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine.
- There are just over 55 different drug and alcohol treatment centers in the state of Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts is one of 37 states where a person can have another involuntarily committed when they are concerned about their drug and/or alcohol use.
How Addiction Affects Michigan
Proud home to the American auto industry, the state of Michigan has been hit hard by the opioid crisis. While most of Michigan primarily struggles with prescription drugs, the poorest county in the nation, Wayne County, home to Detroit, mostly abuses heroin and cocaine. While the state has struggled with high unemployment rates over the years, many of its residents have turned to alcohol and drugs. In 2016, nearly 16 percent of the state's publically funded treatment admissions in Wayne (the poorest urban area in the nation) were due to cocaine. 33 percent of admissions were from heroin. In 2015, Alger County had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths at 4.3 deaths per 10,000 residents. In 2016, Governor Rick Snyder created the "Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission," in order to address the devastation. The commission was made up of state and independent health professionals who monitored indicators of controlled substance use while also making recommendations regarding licensing, law enforcement, substance abuse treatment, and prevention. Though Michigan has suffered with the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic, there is help. Police stations in the state will collect and destroy any unwanted prescription drugs. There are twenty-nine Michigan State Police posts that will accept these medications. The state is home to over 60 different treatment facilities that provide care from 60 to 120 days or longer, and who are capable of treating multiple cases including teens and adults.
- In 2010, there were 26,052 people admitted to treatment for alcohol. We can only guess that number has increased six-fold.
- In 2016, there were 1,762 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state.
- More than half of those deaths were attributed to synthetic opioids and 727 were directly related to heroin.
How Addiction Affects Minnesota
Home to metropolitan cities like St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota is no stranger to the opioid epidemic. According to MPR news, more white people die of opioid overdoses, but Native American and African-American communities have been hardest hit by the epidemic - especially fentanyl. In turn, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that deaths from fentanyl have increased 75 percent over the past year. One of them being music legend, Prince. In response to this tragic issue, in 2014, Steve's Law expanded access to naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, which gives access to the opioid antagonist without a prescription at most major drugstore chains in the state. The state is also battling a worsening methamphetamine epidemic. Treatment admissions for meth in 2015 exceeded the number of admissions in 2005, which officials have referred to as the worst of the methamphetamine problem. In 2015, the drug was reported in over a third of all drug seizures. With that said, another and more legal type of substance is another problem for the state. With alcohol abuse, more than five percent of adults in 2016 reported to have abused alcohol. In another attempt to combat the surging drug problem, treatment centers have sprung up in the state to help residents gain a lifesaving attempt at sobriety. There are well over 50 different facilities in the state that can offer long-term care and offer an effective solution to those struggling while living in a stable drug and alcohol free environment.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were 396 opioid-related overdose deaths in Minnesota.
- The Minnesota legislative report noted that in 2014, 54,311 treatment admissions occurred across the state.
- According to the same report, in 2014, only 7.4% of those with substance use disorders received treatment during the past year.
How Addiction Affects Mississippi
Surrounded by lush landscapes and known for its historical city of Jackson, the "Magnolia State" has been hit by the drug crisis hard. According to the Mississippi Department of Public Health, the state has one of the heaviest rates of prescribed painkillers per capita with 120 prescriptions per 100 people in 2012. That's equivalent to every person living in the state to have at least one bottle of painkillers. As numbers have skyrocketed within recent years, it has lead to an increase in overdoses within the state. In 2017, there were 256 overdose deaths, of which 75% were related to opioids. While the state has stepped in, an initiative was formed in 2018 to end the crisis and inspire all residents to work together to create a better future. "Stand Up, Mississippi," was created to improve the public perception of people dealing with substance use disorder, strengthen policies for prevention and treatment, and to promote statewide partnerships. Additionally, Governor Phil Bryant formed the "Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force" and Congress approved $3.58 million to the state Department of Mental Health to aid in the fight. Now that fight includes the powerful drug, fentanyl. While Mississippi continues to battle to keep heroin and fentanyl off the streets, they recently received a grant from the federal government to pay for detox, up to 90 days of treatment, and medication assisted treatment (MAT) if the person so chooses. Currently, there are 14 mental health facilities across the state reaping the benefits from the grant.
- In 2016, Mississippi saw at least 211 deaths from drug overdoses - the highest in the state's history.
- According to a 2006 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, the number of treatment facilities in the state was 112.
- In past years, Mississippi has ranked among the top ten states with the lowest rate of alcohol dependence or abuse for all age groups.
How Addiction Affects Missouri
The Show Me State has seen a significant increase in treatment admissions for the last decade with numbers more than doubling. State officials have reported that increased distribution efforts of Mexican drug trafficking operations (DTOs) in recent years are to blame. As four major interstates run through Missouri, it provides easy access for distributors to transport illicit drugs from the Southwest border. However, law enforcement investigations and officials have shown that different regions in Missouri have been affected by different types of drugs. Officers have obtained large amounts of methamphetamine near Springfield, however, St. Louis is primarily concerned with heroin and cocaine abuse. A 2018 report from the Missouri Foundation for Health noted that death and overdose rates have spiked, primarily from the state's rural counties in the Ozarks and the Bootheel region. Poor mental health additionally plays a significant role, as suicides among young and middle-aged adults have increased 30 percent since 1995. In these rural areas, poverty and unemployment rates have been high and residents have decreased access to health insurance and providers. In turn, this tends to exacerbate substance use. While many call Missouri their home, so do multiple treatment facilities throughout the state. These facilities tend to offer multiple approaches to recovery from traditional 12-step programs to long-term facilities, where many Missourian's can find access to a stable life full of recovery.
- The number of adults aged 18-25 who abused opioids in 2014 was 9.3 percent, greater than the national average of 8.32 percent.
- As of 2006, there were 257 addiction treatment facilities in Missouri.
- Heroin accounted for 6,000 admissions to treatment centers in 2014, while prescription pain killers accounted for another 1,200.
How Addiction Affects Montana
The number of people addicted to drugs and alcohol in Montana is not nearly as high as many other states, however it still continues to be a problem. While drug smuggling from the border of Canada is a primary source of the state's drug supply, the intricate highway structure and the state's rural and rugged landscape can provide traffickers to conceal their efforts while transporting substances. In a 2008 study, around 10 percent of Montana residents reported past-month illicit drug use. The national average was eight percent. One of the largest problem that the gorgeous state faces is their lack of treatment facilities where someone can receive the services they need to recover from addiction. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, fewer than one in ten Montanans who search for treatment find it, which is about half of the national average. In 2007, Montana Attorney General, Tim Fox, launched the "24/7 Sobriety Program," in which substance abuse offenders can be ordered by a judge to take twice-daily alcohol breath tests as a condition of release from jail, which is now located in 95 percent of Montana's counties.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2016, there were 42 opioid-related overdose deaths in Montana.
- In 2012, the state ranked number nine in the nation for teen marijuana abuse.
- In 2013, law officers in Montana arrested 2,556 people for drug and narcotic offenses.
How Addiction Affects Nebraska
Outpacing the opioid epidemic in other states, the biggest threat in Nebraska is methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney's Office for Nebraska prosecuted nearly five times as many meth-related cases in 2017 as it did in 2007, and meth accounted for nearly 93 percent of drug prosecutions in 2016. Additionally, situated at the intersection of Interstates 80 and 29, Omaha has become a trafficking hub for the drug, noted by several law enforcement in the area. Another substance causing problems in the state has been alcohol. According to a 2016 report from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Nebraska's drug and alcohol abuse rates are below the national average, however residents throughout the state - especially teens - still struggle with alcohol abuse daily. The same report also found that alcohol and binge drinking are more frequent in Nebraska than nationally. For example, about 22 percent of adults across the nation binge drink, but 27.5 of Nebraskan adults do. That's a five percent increase. Within the state, there are a handful of different residential and inpatient facilities readily available to help those struggling. Some of these centers can be found in the city of Lincoln, with others spread across the state.
- In 2016, there were 44 opioid-related overdose deaths in Nebraska.
- In 2005, the Nebraska State Patrol seized 252 meth labs.
- In 2010, there were 1,191 people who were admitted to treatment for amphetamine dependence.
How Addiction Affects Nevada
When most think of Nevada, they often go to the bright lights of Las Vegas and casinos. But, in 2015, the state was ranked fifth in the nation for fatal drug-overdoses. Methamphetamine or crystal meth is one of the main issues that plagues the state and its residents. With its flat desert and barren landscapes, it can be easy for manufacturers to produce and conceal without drugs without notice. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state's amphetamine death rate is the highest in the nation as of 2018. In 2009, there were over 1,890 treatment admissions for methamphetamine in the state alone. However, marijuana, black-tar heroin, and painkillers all pose a threat to other areas of the state. Drawing millions of tourists each year, the "Gambling State" also serves as a central distribution point for funneling drugs into the United States from Mexico. By using the large volume of tourists, traffickers are able to conceal their transportation and distribution efforts. According to the most recent data, Nevada ranks in the top ten states for drug and alcohol abuse, also ranking third of the top five states in the percentage of residents dependent on illegal substances. In an effort to combat drug-related crime, the state's judicial court imposed a strict penal system for those who are caught possessing or selling illegal drugs. Violators receive up to the maximum penalty for their crime including jail time, fines, or a combination of both. The good news is, Nevada is home to a number of treatment centers that have helped thousands of local residents and those from out of state achieve lasting sobriety. In 2009, there were 9,909 people who were admitted to treatment facilities in the state.
- In 2013, 473 people died from an opioid overdose in Nevada, and over half those deaths occurred in Las Vegas.
- Possessing marijuana with the intent to sell is automatically considered a felony in Nevada.
- According to data from National Geographic, Las Vegas' crime rate is 120% higher than the national average, with many of the crimes being traced back to substance abuse.
How Addiction Affects New Hampshire
Home to poet, Robert Frost, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and some of the best ski lodges in the country, the New England state of New Hampshire has been drastically hit by the ever emerging opioid and fentanyl crisis. The state now leads the country in the number of fentanyl-related deaths. However, unlike other states that have been hit hard, New Hampshire is a relatively prosperous state, and that makes the drug crisis seem more disturbing. New Hampshire has the highest median household income in the country, and equally ranks low on unemployment and crime, often landing itself near the top of the lists of the best state in which to live. Though, one of the big reasons this state has been hit especially hard is due to wholesale distributors that enter through Massachusetts, specifically the areas of Lawrence and Lowell. In 2017, New Hampshire's rate of 24 synthetic opiate deaths per 100,000 residents is roughly eight times higher than the national average of three per 100,000 persons. However, official statistics from the state show that in recent years fentanyl deaths have exploded while heroin mortality has declined exponentially. Even in 2017, the President told the Mexican President in a phone call that, "New Hampshire is a drug-infested den." Unfortunately, the "Granite State," has the second lowest rate of spending on substance abuse treatment and prevention, so resources for those looking to get help are extremely limited. In response to this, in 2016, the Manchester Fire Department started a program called "Safe Station," to provide treatment access to those who need it. All ten fire stations have opened their doors 24 hours a day to anyone seeking treatment for their addiction. While treatment may be limited, there are facilities in the state that are ready to help. In 2015, 26.1 percent of New Hampshire residents sought drug and alcohol treatment.
- 7.2 percent of New Hampshire residents 12 and older were addicted to alcohol from 2014 to 2015, which was above the 6.1 national average.
- In 2015, 28 percent of drug rehab admissions were for opioid or heroin abuse.
- In a single-day count in 2015, 8,164 people were enrolled in a substance abuse program in New Hampshire.
How Addiction Affects New Jersey
With busy interstates, airports, and seaports, New Jersey has become one of the biggest drug trafficking sites in the nation, which has led to the downfall of residents who have succumbed to opioid overdose. According to New Jersey's Drug Addiction Crisis website, there have been over 14,000 overdose deaths since 2004 in the state. The most recent reports from the New Jersey Department of Human Services show Ocean and Monmouth as the top two counties for abuse. Closely behind them falls Essex, Camden, and Middlesex counties. In 2016, NJ Advance Media estimated that there were between 2,090 and 2,250 drug deaths, which in turn, would mean that drugs, largely opioids were responsible for the death of a population greater than more than 60 New Jersey towns. To battle this devastating epidemic, the New Jersey Legislature restricted initial prescriptions for opioids to five pills in 2018 - the toughest limit in the nation. Governor Chris Christie also required doctors to talk to their patients about the dangers of OxyContin, and other opioids. He additionally added insurance mandates to provide more addiction services to the 30 percent of residents whose health care plans are managed by the state. The second largest abused substance in the state behind heroin can be accounted as alcohol. While many New Jersey municipalities prohibit alcohol sales, the "Garden State" itself has no dry counties. However, the dry municipalities do not prohibit alcohol consumption. Additionally, the percentage of deaths attributed to alcoholism is higher than the national average. Among all age groups, it is 3.3 percent compared to a national average of 1.8 percent. While New Jersey has been hit especially hard by the opioid and substance abuse crisis, there is help available. New Jersey is home to forty treatment facilities up and down the state. These centers can offer long-term client care to help one recover from their addiction.
- In April of 2017, New Jersey turned a shuttered prison into a 700-bed drug treatment facility for state prison inmates.
- The state has also funded multiple recovery high schools.
- In 2016, there were 1,409 opioid-related deaths in New Jersey.
How Addiction Affects New Mexico
Known as the "Land of Enchantment," New Mexico is known for it's vast landscapes and paramount vistas. However, there continues to be a more silent epidemic that looms in the background and continues to devastate the state. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the state has the second highest overdose death rate in the nation. In a 2016 report, the Department of Health in New Mexico noted that the most common causes of overdose were opioids, heroin, muscle relaxants, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Additionally, opioid-overdose related emergency room visits increased 100 percent over a five-year period, with the biggest numbers seen in Rio Arriba county. With one of the worst drug trafficking problems in the nation, small-production methamphetamine labs have continuously kept their presence in the state. Drug trafficking operations from the Mexican border continues to supply the state with its substances. In an effort to combat the crisis, New Mexico is one of the few states that have implemented a "Good Samaritan Law," which protects addicts who call for medical help in the event of an overdose as well as witnesses to any overdoses. Though this law can be beneficial, recent data shows that only 30 percent of New Mexicans are familiar with the law, meaning 70 percent of residents may avoid receiving overdose treatment, or request it for someone else. This can be due in part of fear from legal ramifications. Alcohol is another highly abused substance in this state, and according to the Sage Clinic, New Mexico has the highest alcohol-related death rate recorded in the United States since 1997. While these deaths are particularly high among Native Americans and Latinos, these two groups make up a large portion of the state's population. Additionally, over the last number of years the number of drug and alcohol rehabs in New Mexico have remained constant with 120 facilities in operation as of 2006.
- eight out of ten leading causes of death in New Mexico are linked to the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
- The highest drug-induced death rate was found among hispanic males, followed by white males.
- The rate of alcohol-related injury deaths in New Mexico is almost double the national rate.
How Addiction Affects New York
New York is known for its rolling hills, intricate Adirondacks, Catskills, and cluster of tall skyscrapers in the bustling New York City. Under the surface, lies an intricate web of drug trafficking, use, and addiction that presents a different picture. Rich in transportation and infrastructure with thousands of residents adds an appealing lure to global drug trafficking, as their goods are easy to conceal in the volume of people. The most commonly used drug in the state is marijuana, which directly effects three quarter of a million people in the state. New York also has the highest number of people using illicit drugs in the U.S. Prescription drugs, including sedatives, painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants are found to be the most used, excluding marijuana. In the past ten years, opiate and cocaine use has been on the rise, notably in young men age 35 and above, increasing the government's measure of drug addiction rates in New York City. While drug use continues to be a problem for the state, New York City also has a high number of people struggling with alcohol abuse. Recent data from the New York Department of Health suggests that a quarter of a million drug and alcohol users in New York City are enrolled in some type of drug or alcohol treatment program. The department also states that alcohol is the most overused substance of all in the state. As of 2017, the New York State Senate passed more than a dozen bills to help end the state's deadly heroin, opioid and synthetic drug epidemic. The multiple bills focus on enforcing to hold drug dealers more accountable, regulating synthetic opioids. the bill also improves the state's treatment programs to help assist individuals with recovery.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the death rate in New York was 15.1 per 100,000 persons in 2016, higher than the national rate at 13.3.
- From 2009 to 2013, around 1.1 million New Yorkers above the age of 11 dealt with alcohol abuse or dependence.
- There were nearly 109,000 New Yorkers arrested for drug crimes in 2014.
How Addiction Affects North Carolina
While the number of opioid overdoses across the nation continues to climb, North Carolina has not escaped the devastation. In 2017, the "Tar Heel State," was ranked as a top 20 of states with the biggest drug problems, according to the personal-finance website, WalletHub. Alcohol and other illicit substances like cocaine and methamphetamine have posed a threat to the southern state, and opioids continue to be the most pressing concern and leading cause of substance abuse-related overdose and deaths. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2016, there were 1,505 opioid-related overdose deaths in North Carolina, a higher rate than the national average. To combat this issue, state lawmakers have rolled out a piece of legislation aimed at curbing prescription opioids into the drug market. The "Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Enforcement Act," (HOPE) aims to give law enforcement more tools to stop the diversion of prescription pills by allowing expanded access to the "Controlled Substance Reporting Program," which tracks the identifying information of people who are prescribed opioids. In addition, crystal methamphetamine continues to be a bigger problem in the state each year. The number of meth lab seizures went up from 32 in 2001 to 328 in 2005, and in 2013, that number had almost doubled to 561. The National Drug Intelligence Center stated that the methamphetamine problem is higher in rural western North Carolina than other parks of the state. While crack cocaine was a threat to those areas, methamphetamine has become easier and cheaper to obtain. However, there is good news. The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services found that North Carolina had 400 treatment facilities, so help is widely available to those who need it.
- According to SAMHSA, illicit drug use in North Carolina tends to mirror the national percentage.
- According to the National Substance Abuse Index, club drugs are a problem among the students of more than 50 colleges and universities in the state.
- According to a federal report, in 2012, 97 opioid prescriptions were written for every 100 people.
How Addiction Affects North Dakota
In 2010, North Dakota experienced a significant oil boom, which led to a rise in the population across the state. Though, as the population grew, so did a demand for drugs, including opiates and methamphetamine. While the population of the state is incredibly small, the increase in abuse over the last few years has increased 36.5 percent from 2014 and 2015. Additionally, a recent survey from the Center for Disease Control shows that the state ranks first in the nation for self-identified binge drinkers. While the state has relatively small statistic numbers, it continues to see a downward spiral due to the overwhelming drug epidemic. However, there is hope. North Dakota law enforcement agencies and state officials have put initiatives in place for prevention, intervention, and recovery services, and each year more residents are seen seeking help for their addiction. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), the number of drug and alcohol rehabs in the state grew from 47 in 2002 to 65 in 2006.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2016, there were 54 drug overdose deaths in North Dakota.
- In 2015, North Dakota providers wrote 60 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons.
- Between 2013 and 2015, the State Crime Laboratory saw a 400 percent growth in heroin-related charges.
How Addiction Affects Ohio
Ohio leads the nation with thousands of opioid overdose deaths a year, and the CDC ranks the state among the top five across the United States in terms of the number of residents per 100,000 suffering from various drug or alcohol addictions. According to federal figures released at the beginning of 2018, the state's drug overdose death rate rose 39 percent, which is the third largest increase among states. As one of the worst states being hit by the epidemic, Ohio loses nearly seven people every day due to heroin and opioid-related deaths. According to an article published by CBS News in 2017, the coroner's office in Montgomery County ran out of space for the second time after it received 13 bodies on one day, of which 12 were overdoses. In response to these devastating numbers, the state has reported spending about one billion each year in Medicaid to treat the drug-addicted. Limits on prescriptions have reduced deaths by prescribed opioid painkillers to a six-year low and heroin deaths have leveled off, but the overdoses caused by more deadly synthetic opioids continue to spiral. CASA at Columbia University reported that Ohio spends two cents of every dollar on substance abuse prevention, however 90 cents of each dollar goes to consequences of substance abuse such as those in jail or probation, and in 2010 the government NSSATS reported that there were 373 substance abuse facilities in Ohio.
- In 2016, there were 3,613 opioid-related overdose deaths in Ohio, at rate of 32.9 deaths per 100,000 persons, which is double the national rate at 13.3.
- In 2015, Ohio providers wrote 85.8 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons.
- Nearly 20% of adults in Ohio admit to binge drinking.
How Addiction Affects Oklahoma
In 2016, a record number of Oklahomans died from drug overdoses, however for the first time in years, preliminary data shows that methamphetamine was the single biggest killer and has continued to be a prevalence in the state for the past decade. An analysis from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control shows that in 2016 952 people died from overdoses, and meth was involved in 328 of them. While meth was once made with cold medicine, it is now being brought into the state by by Mexican drug cartels who have an appreciation for Oklahoma's central location. As these shocking numbers continue to surge, opioids and heroin continue to remain a potent and fatal threat to the state. In 2014, there were almost ten million prescriptions for controlled substances, enough to give 50 pills to every person in the state. To combat this, lawmakers attempted and failed to require doctors to check the prescription drug monitoring program more regularly before prescribing drugs known to be addicted. Though, in 2015, Republican lawmakers Doug Cox and Senator AJ Griffin were successful in getting House Bill 1948 passed, which requires doctors to check the database before prescribing opiates and benzodiazepines. Under this new law, physicians must check the monitoring program before refilling the initial prescription if 180 days have passed. Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware of the dangers of prescription opioids and soon turn to cheaper methods to obtain drugs such as heroin. There is help available for those suffering to return to sobriety. According to the 2006 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, there were 176 drug and alcohol treatment facilities in Oklahoma, which leaves options for those to find a program that is suitable to their needs.
- In 2016, there were 444 opioid-related overdose deaths in Oklahoma.
- In 2015, Oklahoma providers wrote 101.7 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons. In the same year, the average U.S. rate was 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons.
- According to Treatment Episode Data Sets, in 2010 there were 16,932 people who admitted to drug and alcohol rehab in Oklahoma.
How Addiction Affects Oregon
In 2014, Oregon residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana, but the state has been at the forefront of the marijuana legalization movement since the 1960s. At the time of legalization, Oregon already had a booming marijuana industry. In the 1990s, the launch of medical marijuana exacerbated the expansion of growing houses and allowed businesses and co-ops to establish marijuana storefronts. Soon after the drug was legalized recreationally, the state government allowed medical businesses to sell retail pot until recreational-only stores opened in 2016. However, many Oregon residents suffer from cannabis addiction. As of 2014, 13.6 percent of residents who sought help for a drug addiction were addicted to marijuana. Oregon also faces another epidemic of alcohol. A report by the Oregon Substance Abuse Disorder Research Committee found that one out of every ten Oregonians struggle with drugs or alcohol and that addiction costs the state about six billion dollars a year in everything from policies to health care. The report also found that two of every three residents either struggle with a substance abuse disorder or have a family member or friend who does. Based on Oregon addiction statistics, numerous addicts and alcoholics in the state are in need of immediate treatment. Some may choose to seek out an Oregon drug rehab facility, while others may prefer out-of-state care. Either will ensure quality treatment and get you the help you need.
- In 2014, the CDC reported 522 drug overdose deaths in the state.
- By 2016, overdose death rates dropped 11.9 deaths for every 100,000 people.
- In 2015, Oregon providers wrote 78.1 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons.
How Addiction Affects Pennsylvania
As one of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania is marked with beautiful landscapes and alluring Appalachian mountains. Rich in cultural history, and metropolitan areas like Philadelphia, the state is also becoming known for another type of American trend - an alarming drug problem. While much of the current drug crisis has been concentrated in the northeast, Pennsylvania has been hit particularly hard. The state currently ranks tenth nationwide for states with the biggest drug problems in 2018 and is higher than most other states for heroin and opioid substance abuse as well as adolescent alcohol abuse. One in four Pennsylvania families struggle with drug or alcohol abuse and as of July 2017, the rate at which the state's drug overdoses were increasing was higher than any other state. In a 12-month span from 2016 to 2017, the overdose death rate rose by 43.4 percent. In 2015, Pennsylvania had the sixth highest overdose death rate in the nation, and just one year later, more than 4,600 residents lost their lives to addiction. It was even noted in an 2017 article by USA Today that two Pennsylvania drug counselors succumbed to an overdose while working at a halfway house for those recovering from their addiction. The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs noted that between 2013 and 2014 there were 53,047 treatment admissions, which is an alarming number. A breakdown of modalities indicated that few of those clients received long-term care. The shockingly high numbers over the last decade makes clear that the disease of addiction takes the form of all shapes and sizes. Luckily there are many reputable facilities all throughout the state that can help one recover from their addiction.
- In 2016, roughly 13 people died daily from a drug overdose.
- In 2015 there were 10,550 alcohol impaired driving accidents.
- In 2016, there were 3,299 opioid related hospitalizations in the state.
How Addiction Affects Rhode Island
Even though Rhode Island is considered to be the smallest state in the country, it is ranked among the top ten states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. In 2015, the state came in third in alcohol poisoning deaths and first in illicit drug use, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A possible reason for Rhode Island's widespread substance abuse is the state's high unemployment rate, which has persisted in recent years despite positive national economic trends. The loss of jobs has a similar correlation with alcohol abuse and substance dependence, according to a study from the National Institute of Health. Additionally, as the state is sandwiched between Boston and New York, it creates an ideal hotspot and transit point for the distribution of drugs. In an effort to combat the ongoing crisis, in June of 2018, four Rhode Island senators announced a substantial increase in federal funding made available for the state's fight against drug addiction. The state's share from a grant program at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will rose from $2.1 million last year to $12.55 million in 2018 as a result of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The increase in the grant will help the state increase access to medication-assisted treatment and reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities for those battling opioid addiction.
- According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, 323 Rhode Islanders died of accidental drug overdoses in 2017.
- There are 60 alcohol and drug rehabs in Rhode Island.
- In 2015, fentanyl overdoses took the lives of 20 people in the state.
How Addiction Affects South Carolina
Known for the first battle of the Civil War, South Carolina is the nation's leading peach producer and shipper east of the Mississippi River. However, the state has taken a more undesirable title in the war against drugs. Located near major highways and large seaports, the state is a susceptible area for drug trafficking. In recent years, methamphetamine has been on the rise, and though still prominent, heroin has quickly began to take its place. State officials have cracked down on ingredients for crystal meth, and since, heroin use has grown. According to DEA agents in South Carolina, at least one drug deal is seized per day in a fast food restaurant in the state. In response to these statistics, statehouse lawmakers created a committee in 2017 to study the ongoing issue of the addiction crisis in South Carolina. The panel is set to focus on legislative solutions to help combat the hundreds of overdose deaths in the state. Earlier in the year, state lawmakers passed several pieces of legislation which, among other things, would allow pharmacies to operate as drop-off locations for unused pills. The number of bills would require health care workers to receive advanced training on prescribing controlled substances and allow people to report overdoses without the fear of being charged for drug-related crimes. Additionally, marijuana continues to be one of the most used illicit drugs in the state. With medical and recreational marijuana as illegal substances, the state has passed a medical cannabidiol (CBD) law that allows cannabis extracts to treat severe epileptic conditions. Though the epidemic continues to rage on, multiple treatment facilities have also sprung up in the state to help residents receive treatment. As of 2006, there were 104 drug and alcohol facilities in South Carolina.
- In 2015, 4,490,916 opioid prescriptions were filled in South Carolina - that's about 109 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons.
- The average binge drinker in South Carolina exceeds the binge drinking threshold, consuming seven to eight drinks per session.
- From 2011 to 2015, 29,300 people were involved in DUI-related car crashes.
How Addiction Affects South Dakota
Known for the overwhelming Mount Rushmore and home to metropolitan cities like Sioux Falls, South Dakota is one of the most emblematic and economic booming states. Driving by oil and gas extraction, the state has been prosperous in numerous areas, especially the devastating effects of drug and alcohol addiction. Marijuana, prescription painkillers, and amphetamines are some of the most commonly used drugs in the state. In 2015 alone, methamphetamine addiction caused 2,100 arrests, and in that same year, South Dakota police seized 31 pounds of the drug and discovered and dismantled 28 meth labs. Additionally, South Dakota residents drink more heavily than others, and rich with history of Native Americans who still reside on reservations, this particular population is more likely to binge drink, drink earlier in life, and develop a substance abuse problem. Another interesting trend among South Dakota teens and young adults has been a synthetic hallucinogen, known as 25i that creates similar effects to LSD. While this designer drug has popped up across the nation, South Dakota first confirmed cases of abuse of the drug in 2015. In recent years, the South Dakota Department of Social Services has created a campaign against methamphetamine use called, "Meth Changes Everything." This campaign urges residents to pledge against using meth or other drugs and an important part of the campaign are prior users sharing stories of how meth use negatively impacted their lives. For many people who seek recovery, the best way to take back control of their life is to seek professional help through a treatment setting.
- In 2006, there were 59 alcohol and drug rehabs in South Dakota.
- In 2016, there were 42 opioid-related overdose deaths in the state.
- In 2015, South Dakota providers wrote 582,000 opioid prescriptions.
How Addiction Affects Tennessee
Boasting itself as the birthplace of country music, Tennessee is world famous for its music meccas of Nashville and Memphis. Bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee's economy thrives on tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture, making the state one of the South's best places to live. Not escaping from the drug epidemic, the state's residents have suffered with drug and alcohol dependency for quite some time. 2014 was a record year for the state, with at least 1,200 residents losing their lives to opioid overdose. However, this statistic doesn't account for lives lost due to complications from addiction, such as infections from shared needles or combining opioids with other drugs. In addition to opioids, Tennessee also has a large problem with methamphetamine. State research and crime data estimate that there are roughly 800 methamphetamine laboratories in operation at any given time in the state. Fortunately, law enforcement and local health agencies have made significant strides in dealing with the epidemic. They have partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in their disease-prevention efforts aligned with the, "Healthy People 2020" national campaign. The objectives for this campaign are, "to reduce substance abuse to protect the health, safety, and quality of life, for all, especially children." While the crisis lingers on, there is no shortage of treatment facilities in the state. As of 2006, there were 195 drug and alcohol facilities in the Tennessee.
- In 2016, there were 1,186 opioid-related overdose deaths in Tennessee.
- In 2015, Tennessee providers wrote over 7.8 million prescriptions.
- Heroin use continues to grow at an alarming rate. Between 2011 and 2014, admissions into state-funded facilities increased 157%.
How Addiction Affects Texas
Famous for cowboys, oil, and all things American, the "Lone Star State," is one of America's largest and most prosperous states. While the Texas rates of substance abuse are below the national average, there are still those that suffer with drug and alcohol addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), "alcohol is the primary drug of abuse in Texas, and in 2012, 58 percent of Texas secondary school students in grades 7-12 have used alcohol, and 25 percent had consumed alcohol in the past month." Additionally, meth and heroin have a large impact in West Texas, where drug trafficking, and drug-related crimes in correlation with the states proximity to Mexico's border play a role in the drug problem. Meth also has been more frequent in oil drilling areas of the state. The Houston Chronicle recently reported that more than three times the amount of local workers tested positive for meth in the first half of 2017 than in the first half of 2009. The increase followed a major boom in oil and gas production in the area. Due to the rising problem with substances in the past decade, in 2013, there were 40,000 Texans that received treatment for their addiction alone. As vast as the "Lone Star State" may be, there is plenty of help for those seeking treatment. As of 2014, there were 454 substance abuse treatment facilities in the state.
- In 2016, there were 1,375 opioid-related overdose deaths in Texas, a rate of 4.9 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons.
- In 2015, Texas providers wrote 15.9 million prescriptions.
- A survey of seven major Texas counties showed that nearly 16 percent of people aged 18 to 25 had alcohol use disorder.
How Addiction Affects Utah
With bolstering mountains, home of Salt Lake City and the Mormon community, Utah may not be the first place you think of when you think drug abuse. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, out of all 50 states, Utah had the seventh-highest drug overdose rate in the U.S. between 2013 and 2015. An average of 24 Utahns died each month in 2015 from prescription opioid overdose, according to the Utah Department of Health. Tooele County and the region covering Emery, Carbon, and Grand counties had the states two highest rates of opioid deaths between 2014 and 2015. Additionally, with 60 percent of Utah residents being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, many people affected by pill addiction in Utah are Mormon. While drug use is forbidden in the LDS community, many in the Church don't view medications prescribed by a doctor as being an illicit substance. Sadly, this is how many opiate addictions start. With opioid levels at an all time high, state officials are deploying $5.5 million in new federal cash as of May 2017 to attack the crisis - partly by setting up and ramping up current treatment program. The good news is, help is being offered throughout the state. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse, the number of alcohol and drug treatment facilities in Utah has increased from 118 in 2003 to 133 in 2006.
- In 2016, there were 466 opioid-related overdose deaths in Utah.
- In 2015, Utah providers wrote 2.2 million prescriptions.
- From 2000 to 2015, Utah experienced a 400% increase in deaths from the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.
How Addiction Affects Vermont
As a quaint and flourishing state in the heart of New England and home to the first Ben and Jerry's ice cream parlor, Vermont's astoundingly high rates of opioid and heroin abuse have led it to adorn the nickname, "Heroin Capital of America." As of 2014, the state treated 2,258 people for heroin use - a 64 percent increase from 2013. The states urban areas, including Burlington and Montpelier can be known as a hub for multiple types of drugs that come in through the Canadian border. As the state borders coastal Massachusetts and New York, Vermont is in close proximity to the main ports for drug trafficking on the east coast. In an effort to combat this, lawmakers in the state are considering legislation that would soften criminal penalties for the possession of heroin and other drugs. Progressive Burlington State Rep. Selene Colburn noted in a 2018 interview with the Associated Press that drug addiction is a public health issue and harsh criminal penalties aren't conducive to recovery. Vermont Public Radio also reports a bill previously introduced by the Representative that would turn felony possessions into misdemeanor crimes. As of 2006, there were 40 drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities and only four of them offered opioid treatment. 16 of them provided dual-diagnosis treatment for both mental health disorders and substance abuse.
- In 2016, there were 101 opioid-related overdose deaths in Vermont.
- In 2015, Vermont providers wrote approximately 388,100 opioid prescriptions.
- Between 2004 and 2015, the number of opioid overdose deaths in Vermont almost doubled.
How Addiction Affects Virginia
As the cradle of American democracy, the Commonwealth of Virginia has a growing economy and diverse population. However, there are thousands of Virginians that continue to struggle with alcohol and drug addiction on a daily basis. While drugs are a major concern for the state, the most abused substance is alcohol. Statistics in 2015 noted that 6.49 percent of residents suffer from alcoholism, which is slightly lower than the national average of 6.7 percent. The most popular illicit drugs in the state are marijuana, prescription medications, and psychotherapeutic medications. Additionally, the historic state has some of the highest rates of drug-related criminal activities in the nation. With a spike in drug smuggling, these crimes are a growing concern among residents. The number of Virginia federal sentences involving drugs surpass that of the national average. The state has some of the toughest legal penalties for possessing, manufacturing, and distributing illegal substances. For example, transporting one or more ounces of heroin or harmful opioids into the state involve a mandatory three-year jail sentence. And, more than 45 percent of federal sentences in the state are related to drugs, with 51 percent involving crack cocaine.
- In 2016, there were 1,130 opioid-related overdose deaths in Virginia.
- In 2015, Virginia providers wrote approximately 5.6 million prescriptions.
- In 2016, 773 babies in Virginia were born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
How Addiction Affects Washington
Home of the Space Needle and known as the "Emerald Jewel" of the Pacific Northwest, Washington boasts itself as a diverse state with picturesque rugged coastlines. However, there are thousands of residents that find themselves in the midst of a drug and alcohol addiction. Similar to what's happening nationally, many residents have become addicted to opioid painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin, which can be accounted for as the most-used illicit drugs in the region. Unfortunately, the residents who become addicted to these pills often switch to heroin due to it being more accessible and attainable. According to the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Institute, there were 132 heroin overdose deaths in King County in 2015. In 2009, there were 49. In 2018, Ricky's Law was passed. The premise of the law is that substance users that are at risk of injury to themselves or others receive the same treatment as someone with a dangerous mental health disorder. In hindsight, the substance user would be involuntarily committed to a Washington state drug rehab. While there is one specific facility designed for these cases, another nine are planned to be built by 2026, and legislatures are hoping the new law will save lives.
- in 2015, there were 692 opioid-related overdose deaths in Washington, slightly less than the national rate.
- In 2015, Washington providers wrote 4.88 million prescriptions.
- The incidence of NAS in Washington increased from 1.3 cases per 1,000 births in 2000 to 7.9 cases per 1,000 in 2013â€”a more than six fold increase.
How Addiction Affects Washington D.C.
Home of the White House, Congress, and the political realm, Washington D.C. has higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse anywhere else in the country. Due to its access from the Potomac River, and multiple highways that snake through the area, Washington D.C. is an easy access point for drug traffickers to distribute substances. A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found that 11.3 percent of people 12 and older abused or were dependent on alcohol or drugs in 2011, which is well above the national average of 8.9 percent. As drug and alcohol problems have long been a problem in all facets of the nation's capital, drug deals can be seen on corners, to binge drinking on college campuses, to the White House - as former first lady Betty Ford admitted to a long battle with drinking and painkiller addiction. Another growing problem in the state is synthetic marijuana abuse. Between 2012 and 2013, there were approximately 20 hospitalizations from synthetic marijuana overdoses per month. By 2015, a report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers showed the number of incidents had risen to 20 hospitalizations per day in Washington D.C., alone. Due to its diverse population, Washington D.C. has a number of treatment centers that offer a wide variety of options. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, the number of drug and alcohol rehabs in the District of Columbia has decreased from 51 to 2002 to 46 in 2006.
- In 2016, there were 209 opioid-related overdose deaths in Washington D.C.
- In 2015, Washington D.C. providers wrote over 463,000 prescriptions.
- Washington D.C. is ranked second for percentage of adults who drink alcohol and first for percentage of heavy drinkers.
How Addiction Affects West Virginia
Rich in natural beauty and splendor, West Virginia is known for the Appalachian Mountains and Shenandoah River. Despite its beauty, the state's rural and urban areas have some of the highest rates of drug abuse, addiction, and overdose fatalities. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that one in ten West Virginia residents struggle with addiction. Once the state tightened its prescription medication laws, many residents turned to heroin as an alternative. Major drug trafficking organizations in other states began transporting heroin to rural communities across the state. Additionally, the decline of the mining business, otherwise known as "coal country," has added to West Virginia's heroin epidemic. As unemployment rates have risen to 6.5 percent, a significant amount of job loss has fueled the abuse of opioids and other illicit substances. As drug use continues to haunt the state, some of the smallest and innocent victims to the epidemic are babies who are born exposed with a drug-addicted mother. A 2016 state health study showed that nearly one in 20 babies born in West Virginia in that year were born drug dependent. In response, United States Senator, Shelley Moore announced a study that looks at neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The study suggested educating healthcare providers on screening and treating NAS, as well as addressing the stigma that mothers face that keeps from seeking treatment early on. Though, as substance abuse grows, there are more residents that continue to seek treatment. In 2006, West Virginia had 83 drug and alcohol treatment facilities.
- In 2016, West Virginia had the highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States.
- In 2013, West Virginia providers wrote 2.08 million prescriptions.
- Synthetic opioid-related deaths more than quadrupled from 2010 to 2016.
How Addiction Affects Wisconsin
America's "dairyland" is rooted in its deep agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Though surprisingly, rates of illicit drug use in Wisconsin run rampant. The state is among the top in America for drug abuse by young people between the ages of 12 and 25, and more people across Wisconsin die from drug overdoses than motor vehicle accidents, suicide, or firearms. In addition to heroin, other forms of illicit drugs are problematic in the state including marijuana, cocaine, and prescription opiates. In 2017 Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker called for a special session for the state Legislature to take up proposals designed to combat the epidemic. Some of the ground breaking proposals have included allowing school employees to administer Narcan or Naloxone, and to also crack down on cough syrup that contains codeine. Another proposal recommended allowing the University of Wisconsin's Office of Educational Opportunity to charter a recovery school for high school students struggling with addiction. Wisconsin offers an array of policies and programs to help educate the public about the dangers of drug abuse and addiction. By implementing these proposals, state officials are hoping to provide family members and friends with information about drug abuse and treatment options that will continue to shed the light on the stigma of addiction and help those struggling receive the treatment they need.
- In 2016, there were 865 opioid-related overdose deaths in Wisconsin.
- In 2015, Wisconsin providers wrote four million prescriptions.
- Since 2010, heroin overdose rates have risen nearly 323 percent.
How Addiction Affects Wyoming
As one of America's most cherished western states, Wyoming is home to iconic national parks such as Yellowstone. However, while sparsely located, many Wyoming residents are concerned about the rise of opioid and heroin-related abuse cases. In 2016, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation reported that investigations involving heroin and prescription controlled substances have doubled in recent years. Another substance that has been ravaging the state has been methamphetamine. In 2016, meth was involved in 8.48 percent of arrests, and Lincoln, Uinta, and Weston counties had higher rates of meth-related crime. However, by the aid of the University of Wyoming's counseling center the Alcohol Wellness Alternatives, and the Research and Education program (AWARE), they have begun to educate local college students about healthy choice and harm-reduction strategies that can prevent and reduce substance abuse. In an effort to combat the surge in overdoses and drug abuse, in 2017, the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass HB 215, taking its first step toward making Wyoming the only state in the country to criminalize women as felons for struggling with drug addiction while pregnant. While the state continues to struggle with the epidemic, there is effective treatment available at one of Wyoming's multiple treatment facilities.
- In 2016, there were 50 opioid-related overdose deaths in Wyoming.
- In 2015, Wyoming providers wrote 383,000 prescriptions.
- In 2016, alcohol-related arrests were highest in Fremont, Sheridan, and Teton counties.