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Geographic Trends of Addiction

 

While addiction can affect anyone regardless of where they may live, there are certain areas of the country with a higher concentration of certain types of addicts. Various studies further break down trends to identify patterns. Some of the factors considered while compiling these stats include population within specific regions and age group as part of efforts to determine areas of the country with the highest population of addicts.

Addiction By Region

Drug-related addictions tend to be prevalent in urban areas due to high population concentrations. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, three coastal states (California, Texas and Florida) have the most reported drug-related incidents based on the number of arrests per state. Drug abuse and related addictions are more common in urban areas with a higher population concentration, with mid-western states reporting fewer drug-related arrests.

Northern and Eastern States

The Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration notes that New York has a higher rate of abuse of so-called “hard drugs,” most notably heroin. This is a trend echoed in nearby states, including parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Addictions to methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine are also increasingly common in many northern and eastern states.

Mid-western States

While use of harder drugs isn’t as prevalent in mid-western states, there are notable exceptions. In Kansas, for instance, methamphetamine use is growing problem. There’s also an increase in experimentation with dangerous marijuana imitations in the mid-west. Underage drinking is also a widespread problem in many mid-western states.

Southern States

Alcoholism is a common problem in some southern states, with South Carolina reporting above average mortality rates from alcohol-related health problems. Cocaine and crack rank among the top drug-related addictions among the southern states. According to the Orlando Sentinel, methamphetamine use has reached near-epidemic portions in many small communities in Florida, a trend reflected in nearby states.

Addiction-related Trends and Observations

Regardless of geographic region, the age group most affected by addictions is 18-25 in all states, based on state-by-state assessments of common addictions by the DEA. Additional trends worth mentioning include:

  • Rural Addictions – More rurally populated states aren’t immune from more serious addictions, with cocaine use on the rise in Idaho, Montana, Louisiana and Alaska due to increased availability and a drop in price for this particular drug.
  • Alcoholism – The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that more than half of all Alaskans consumed alcohol within the past month when surveyed. Incidents of binge drinking were reported by 1-in-5 respondents.
  • Dual Diagnosis Care – Dual Diagnosis care is a common need, especially among addicts 55 and older. This trend is especially noticeable in Massachusetts, where heroin use among seniors has spiked, often in combination with excessive alcohol consumption.

Narrowing down addiction statistics by geographic region isn’t an easy task. While some of the figures may not be completely accurate due to under-reporting, these stats do help to show trends that highlight areas where more attention needs to be placed on addiction-related treatments. These studies also help to better focus education and prevention efforts on areas of the country with the highest population of addicts.

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