These states have the biggest drug problems

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The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the nation’s drug problem. In fact, in 2020, there were over 88,000 drug overdose deaths, an increase of about 27% from 2019.

To address this issue, the government allocated $4 billion for programs to provide substance abuse and mental health care services under the American Rescue Plan stimulus.

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roman dragunov / istockphoto

Ranking drug use

WalletHub recently released a report to determine where drug abuse is most prominent and which areas across the United States are the most at risk. They measured drug use through 21 metrics, including arrest and overdose rates, opioid prescriptions and employee drug testing laws.

WalletHub’s full methodology can be found here.

Below are the nation’s drug use rankings from lowest to highest drug use.

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Art Wager

51. Hawaii

  • Total Score: 26.44
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 43
  • Law Enforcement: 49
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 51

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” 4kodiak”

50. Utah

  • Total Score: 27.14
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 50
  • Law Enforcement: 37
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 38

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JoeChristensen

49. Minnesota

  • Total Score: 28.21
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 45
  • Law Enforcement: 38
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 45

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knowlesgallery

48. Idaho

  • Total Score: 30.77
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 42
  • Law Enforcement: 30
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 47

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JoeChristensen

47. Iowa

  • Total Score: 31.92
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 44
  • Law Enforcement: 41
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 20

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marekuliasz

46. Nebraska

  • Total Score: 33.47
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 46
  • Law Enforcement: 23
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 21

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ABEMOS / istockphoto

45. Virginia

  • Total Score: 33.96
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 48
  • Law Enforcement: 14
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 41

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sequential5

44. North Dakota

  • Total Score: 34.5
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 51
  • Law Enforcement: 4
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 29

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SeanPavonePhoto

43. South Carolina

  • Total Score: 35.03
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 26
  • Law Enforcement: 50
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 36

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James Deitsch

42. Alabama

  • Total Score: 35.38
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 32
  • Law Enforcement: 51
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 5

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RiverNorthPhotography

41. South Dakota

  • Total Score: 35.49
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 47
  • Law Enforcement: 10
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 32

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Elisa.rolle

40. Florida

  • Total Score: 35.91
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 33
  • Law Enforcement: 36
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 35

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Michael Pham

39. Kansas

  • Total Score: 36.22
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 36
  • Law Enforcement: 29
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 26

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SeanPavonePhoto

38. Georgia

  • Total Score: 36.25
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 39
  • Law Enforcement: 32
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 10

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FierceAbin

37. Wisconsin

  • Total Score: 36.35
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 41
  • Law Enforcement: 15
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 46

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DenisTangneyJr

36. Texas

  • Total Score: 36.89
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 49
  • Law Enforcement: 16
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 13

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republica

35. Washington

  • Total Score: 37.95
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 19
  • Law Enforcement: 45
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 43

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DepositPhotos.com

34. North Carolina

  • Total Score: 38.11
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 29
  • Law Enforcement: 26
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 39

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stevegeer

33. Mississippi

  • Total Score: 38.55
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 35
  • Law Enforcement: 24
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 24

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ibsky

32. Illinois

  • Total Score: 39.35
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 34
  • Law Enforcement: 18
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 44

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mlauffen

31. California

  • Total Score: 39.55
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 31
  • Law Enforcement: 35
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 17

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Boogich

30. New York

  • Total Score: 39.98
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 40
  • Law Enforcement: 11
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 25

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DepositPhotos.com

29. Oklahoma

  • Total Score: 40.61
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 28
  • Law Enforcement: 34
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 15

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James_Lane

28. Maryland

  • Total Score: 41.12
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 15
  • Law Enforcement: 40
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 31

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aimintang

27. New Jersey

  • Total Score: 41.79
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 38
  • Law Enforcement: 8
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 23

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traveler1116

26. Connecticut

  • Total Score: 42.37
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 23
  • Law Enforcement: 25
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 33

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danlogan

25. Rhode Island

Total Score: 42.71

Drug Use & Addiction: 17

Law Enforcement: 46

Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 7

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AppalachianViews

24. Pennsylvania

  • Total Score: 42.74
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 27
  • Law Enforcement: 6
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 49

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dypics

23. Ohio

  • Total Score: 43.08
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 11
  • Law Enforcement: 33
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 34

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HaizhanZheng

22. Oregon

  • Total Score: 44.17
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 13
  • Law Enforcement: 43
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 14

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dschreiber29

21. Wyoming

  • Total Score: 44.2
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 37
  • Law Enforcement: 2
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 48

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wanderluster

20. Arizona

  • Total Score: 44.23
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 24
  • Law Enforcement: 31
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 8

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Rdlamkin

19. Arkansas

  • Total Score: 44.24
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 30
  • Law Enforcement: 5
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 37

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DenisTangneyJr

18. New Hampshire

  • Total Score: 44.86
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 21
  • Law Enforcement: 17
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 42

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DenisTangneyJr

17. Vermont

  • Total Score: 45.13
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 7
  • Law Enforcement: 47
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 19

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DenisTangneyJr

16. Louisiana

  • Total Score: 45.43
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 22
  • Law Enforcement: 22
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 16

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Swarmcatcher

15. Tennessee

  • Total Score: 45.44
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 8
  • Law Enforcement: 27
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 40

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Chilkoot

14. Alaska

  • Total Score: 45.67
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 9
  • Law Enforcement: 48
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 6

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YinYang

13. Montana

  • Total Score: 46.43
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 18
  • Law Enforcement: 20
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 22

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Rolf_52

12. Massachusetts

  • Total Score: 46.92
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 16
  • Law Enforcement: 21
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 18

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DepositPhotos.com

11. Maine

  • Total Score: 47.58
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 4
  • Law Enforcement: 44
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 11

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Thomas Kelley

10. Kentucky

  • Total Score: 48.87
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 6
  • Law Enforcement: 9
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 50

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f11photo

9. Indiana

  • Total Score: 48.94
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 10
  • Law Enforcement: 13
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 28

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haveseen

8. Michigan

  • Total Score: 49.52
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 14
  • Law Enforcement: 19
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 9

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mdgmorris

7. Delaware

  • Total Score: 49.71
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 5
  • Law Enforcement: 42
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 4

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AlizadaStudios

6. Nevada

  • Total Score: 50.22
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 12
  • Law Enforcement: 39
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 2

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Davel5957

5. New Mexico

  • Total Score: 53.28
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 2
  • Law Enforcement: 12
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 27

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Jacob Boomsma / istockphoto

4. Colorado

  • Total Score: 53.68
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 20
  • Law Enforcement: 7
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 3

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eyecrave

3. Missouri

  • Total Score: 53.98
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 25
  • Law Enforcement: 1
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 12

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hkim39 // istockphoto

2. West Virginia

  • Total Score: 56.29
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 3
  • Law Enforcement: 3
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 30

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DepositPhotos.com

1. District of Columbia

  • Total Score: 60.67
  • Drug Use & Addiction: 1
  • Law Enforcement: 28
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: 1

Related: 


These states have the biggest drug problems

Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn Farley is MediaFeed’s writer/editor. She is a masters of science in journalism candidate at Northwestern University, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.

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