As we kick off National Prevention Week, which runs from May 8 to May 14, 2022, WalletHub took a look at the states in America with the biggest drug problems.  You might be surprised as to where New York State landed on the list. The report studied drug use in all 50 states and the District of Columbia using 21 metrics.

Drug abuse has a long and storied history in the United States, and we’ve been “at war” with it since 1971 under the Nixon administration. Yet despite the country’s best efforts to fight it, the problem is getting worse, and is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There were over 100,000 drug overdose deaths in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up 28.5% from the previous year. It’s crucial for the government to address this issue and prevent it from getting any worse.

Community Activist Offers Drug Addicts Safe Haven In Mobile Consumption Room
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I definitely thought New York would be higher on the list.  We actually were in the middle of the list at #28.  The state with the biggest drug problem, according to WalletHub's study, is West Virginia.

For New York specifically, here is how are ranked according to certain key metrics:

Drug Abuse & Prevention in New York (1=Biggest Problem; 25=Avg.):

11th – Share of Teenagers Who Used Illicit Drugs in the Past Month
21st – Share of Adults Who Used Illicit Drugs in the Past Month
47th – Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions per 100 People
29th – Drug Overdose Deaths per Capita
22nd – Drug Arrests per Capita
38th – Share of Adults Who Couldn’t Get Treatment for Illicit Drug Use in the Past Year
18th – Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities per 100,000 People (Age 12+) Using Illicit Drugs


New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman Announces Large Heroin Bust
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

So overall, the drug problem in New York isn't that bad, at least compared to other states. We obviously need to work on teens using drugs, which is a pretty big and significant issue.

The top 10 states with the biggest drug problems are:

10. Tennessee
9. Oregon
8. Michigan
7. Colorado
6. Nevada
5. New Mexico
4. Missouri
3. Arkansas
2. District of Columbia
1. West Virginia

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