LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Drug abuse is not a new concept in the U.S., and despite different efforts to minimize the issue, it continues to be a problem. Like many other issues, the extent of its effect varies by state.
A report by WalletHub ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia with the highest rate of drug use.
The list was compiled by comparing 21 key metrics, ranging from arrest and overdose rates to opioid prescriptions and employee drug testing laws.
Kentucky ranked number 12 on the list for the highest drug use by state with a total score of 46.82.
States exceeding Kentucky in the rate of drug use include:
- West Virginia (58.42)
- District of Columbia (57.24)
- Arkansas (54.02)
- Missouri (53.36)
- New Mexico (52.67)
- Nevada (52.41)
- Colorado (52.40)
- Michigan (52.09)
- Oregon (49.66)
- Tennessee (48.91)
- Louisiana (48.37)
An interactive map showing drug use rankings by state can be seen here:
Although Kentucky was not in the top 10 highest drug use states, it was when it comes to drug-related deaths. In fact, Kentucky is listed as the state with the most overdose deaths per capita, tied with West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Wallethub also ranked Kentucky 49th in terms of the number of substance abuse treatment facilities, coming in with one of the fewest. The only states with fewer treatment facilities are Wyoming and North Dakota (T-50).
On the positive front, Kentucky ranked 47th in terms of the percentage of teenagers who use drugs.