Monday, May 23, 2016

How much do people in your state drink and dope?

People in Colorado love marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and painkillers used for non-medical reasons. Colorado is the only state where residents rank in the top 10 in all four categories, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey of the proportion of population 12 and older who use each substance, Keith Humphreys reports for The Washington Post.

Reported marijuana use was highest in the states where it is legal—Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, Humphreys writes. "Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are leading consumers of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine, with Maine and Connecticut also being leaders in two of those three. New York, in contrast, is a top consumer of only cocaine." Three border states—Arizona, California and New Mexico—have high rates of cocaine use, while Arizona is also a leader among opioid use.

"As the most religious region of the country, the Southeast and Bible Belt have long tended to have lower consumption of intoxicating substances—particularly alcohol—than the rest of the country," Humphreys writes. "Yet non-medical painkiller use is an exception to this general rule, with most of its top consumers being in or near this region: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia, Maryland and Ohio. The Midwest and Plains states are not leading consumers of any of the three illicit drugs. But Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota are all national leaders in their proportion of drinkers, continuing a pattern established during the period of heavy migration from Scandinavia and beer-loving, beer-brewing Germany." (Post map)

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