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Drugs, Alcohol, Despair: State Rankings

Government Report Details How States Rank in Substance Use and Mental Health Problems
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

March 6, 2008 -- A new government report shows how states rank in terms of substance use and mental health.

The report covers a wide swath of topics, including underage drinking, cigarette use, illicit drug use, and depression.

The bottom line: "Every state and region must confront these issues," Terry Cline, PhD, says in a news release.

Cline heads the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which issued the report.

The report is based on 136,110 people aged 12 and older who were interviewed for a national survey in 2005-2006.

Illicit Drugs

North Dakota had the lowest percentage of people who reported using an illicit drug during the previous month (5.7%). Rhode Island had the highest percentage (11.2%).

Marijuana use was reported by 10.4% of participants in 2005-2006. Vermont had the highest rate of marijuana use in the past month (9.7%). Utah had the lowest rate (4.3%).

Cocaine use was reported by 2.4% of participants in 2005-2006. Cocaine rates were highest in Washington, D.C. (4.9%) and lowest in North Dakota (1.6%).

Nonprescription use of painkillers was reported by 5% of participants, up from 4.8% in 2004-2005.

About 2.8% of participants were dependent on or had abused illicit drugs in the past year, the report shows.


About 30% of participants said they had used tobacco during the previous month. And 25% said they had smoked cigarettes during the previous month.

West Virginia had the highest rate of past-month tobacco use (40.6%) and cigarette use (32.5%). Utah had the lowest rate of past-month tobacco use (22.1%) and cigarette use (19.3%).

Among youths, 10.6% reported smoking cigarettes in the previous month, down from 11.3% in 2004-2005.

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