The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is an annual report issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It shows that while drug abuse is a national problem and it is clear that addiction does not discriminate, some areas are faring worse than others.
The Federal Government has already spent over $10 billion on fighting the drug problem in our country. The money has gone towards more treatment centers, drug and alcohol education and programs that are aimed at preventing drug and alcohol abuse before it even starts. However, many people wonder what areas in the country have the worse drug abuse statistics and which ones need the most help.
Perhaps more important than specific areas of abuse, are how the different regions in our country are doing. For instance, it seems that the Western part of the country has the highest rates of illegal drug use, while the Northeastern part of the country has the highest rate of binge alcohol drinking. Interestingly, the western United States still has more people addicted to alcohol and that report chronic abuse. So this might indicate that the western United States needs a lot of attention when it comes to drug and alcohol abuse, while the northeastern part of the country needs to be educated on the dangers of binge drinking and what classifies as binge drinking. Educating teenagers and young adults that binge drinking is the consumption of a large amount of alcohol in a short amount of time is the definition of binge drinking may dissuade them from this type of behavior.
Currently, Vermont takes first place for the most illegal drug activity in the United States, with 10.56% of the population has engaged in illegal drug use. California comes in a close second with 9.66% of the state’s population abusing drugs in the same time period. Colorado ranked third among illicit drug users overall. States like Montana, Delaware, Oregon and New Hampshire may surprise people that they made the list, however these states are all still in the top ten in terms of highest percentage of drug abusers.
Drug addiction is a problem that is continuing to grow in many areas throughout the country. Maintaining a continued focus on drug treatment centers, education and prevention is necessary.