Drug Use by State: 2021’s Problem Areas – WalletHub Study

With National Prevention Week in full swing and drug overdose deaths in 2020 up 24% from the previous year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the States with the Biggest Drug Problems, as well as accompanying videos, to highlight the areas that stand to be most affected.

This study compares the 50 states and the District in terms of 21 key metrics, ranging from arrest and overdose rates to opioid prescriptions and employee drug testing laws. You can find some highlights below.

States with the Biggest Drug Problems
1. District of Columbia 11. Maine
2. West Virginia 12. Massachusetts
3. Missouri 13. Montana
4. Colorado 14. Alaska
5. New Mexico 15. Tennessee
6. Nevada 16. Louisiana
7. Delaware 17. Vermont
8. Michigan 18. New Hampshire
9. Indiana 19. Arkansas
10. Kentucky 20. Arizona

Key Stats:

  • Alabama has 86 retail opioid pain reliever prescriptions per 100 residents, leading the nation. On the other end of the spectrum, there are 30 for every 100 Hawaii residents.
  • West Virginia has 52.80 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 residents. That is 6.1 times more than in Nebraska, which has the fewest at 8.70 per 100,000 residents.
  • Vermont has the highest share of teens who used illicit drugs in the past month, at 14.14 percent. That is 2.3 times higher than in Utah, which has the lowest at 6.03 percent.
  • Vermont has the highest share of adults who used illicit drugs in the past month, at 21.70 percent. That is 2.9 times higher than in South Dakota, which has the lowest at 7.60 percent.

To view the full report and learn about drug abuse in your state, please visit: