YMix wrote:Mood-Altering Drug Use Highest in West Virginia, Lowest in Alaska
by Justin McCarthy
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- West Virginians are most likely to report near-daily use of drugs or medications that alter their mood or help them relax, followed by residents of Rhode Island. Southern states make up six of the top 10 highest drug use states, while Alaskans, Wyomingites and Californians are least likely to say they use such drugs almost every day.
These data are based on interviews with at least 450 residents of each state from January to December 2014, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. While the question specifically refers to drugs that "affect your mood or help you relax," the interpretation of that description is left up to respondents and could include prescription drugs, recreational drugs, alcohol or nicotine.
More than one in five residents of Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi and Missouri report using a drug or medicated substance to alter their mood or relax on a near-daily basis. Indiana and Oregon round out the top 10.
An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Southern states are among those with the highest rates for prescribing narcotic painkillers. Southern states also house the most frequent cigarette smokers, according to prior Gallup-Healthways research.
Lower rates of drug and medication use were in a regionally diverse group of states. After the three states that have the lowest drug use rates (Alaska, Wyoming and California), about one in six residents in Illinois, North Dakota, New Jersey, Colorado, Texas and Utah say they use such drugs almost every day.
Interesting that California, the state of hippies and Hollywood, is one of the states with the lowest rates. I would imagine that a lot of the drug use in the South is in the form of pills: Percocet, OxyContin, Valium, Xanax, etc.