Rhode Island Leads Nation in Illegal Drug Use; New Hampshire #1 for Alcohol; Utah Most Depressed

Wednesday, January 07, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Colorado may have legalized recreational marijuana use, but it is Rhode Island that leads the nation in illegal drug use, according to a new federal health survey.


In addition to Rhode Island having the highest rate of people getting high, its New England neighbor New Hampshire leads the country in alcohol use, while Utah is the most depressed state in the land.


According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 15.76% of Rhode Islanders used illicit drugs in 2012-2013. Right behind Rhode Island was the District of Columbia, with 15.17, and Colorado at 14.90.


Rhode Island also was first for using marijuana at 20.22%, followed by Alaska (19.69), Vermont (19.10) and Oregon (19.03). Colorado was at 18.92, but the survey was conducted just as the state was implementing its new law legalizing pot use.


As for alcohol consumption, no state was less sober than New Hampshire, where 65.19% of residents used alcohol in the past month. Second was the District of Columbia at 64.90%, followed by Massachusetts (64.74) and Wisconsin (61.56).


In measuring rates of depression, the survey found Utah had the highest frequency, with 9.45% of residents there having had a depressive episode in the past year. Rhode Island was second (8.46) and Oregon third (8.41).

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Comparison of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 Model-Based Prevalence Estimates (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

R.I. Tops in Use of Marijuana and Illicit Drugs, Survey Finds / Interactive (by Richard Salit, Providence Journal)

Which US State Has Highest Concentration of Pot Smokers? You Will Be Surprised (by Phillip Smith, AlterNet)

Americans Overwhelmingly Prefer Treatment to Prosecution for Illegal Drug Users; Alcohol Viewed as more Harmful than Marijuana (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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