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North Dakota Tops Binge Drinking Stats

Utah Has Lowest Rate for Drugs, Drinking


Updated February 16, 2005

Utah has the lowest rate of past month use of illicit drugs in the nation, as well as the lowest rate for binge drinking, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) revealed. Alaska has the highest rate of illegal drug use, while North Dakota has the highest rate for binging on alcohol.

The data are from "State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2002-2003 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health." SAMHSA combined two years of data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health to enhance the precision of estimates for the less populous states. The report estimates state rates of use of illegal drugs, binge drinking, serious mental illness and tobacco use.

"State-by-state data is a powerful tool for policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to identify needs and target prevention and treatment resources. While we as a nation are making overall progress in reducing illicit drug use among youth, it is clear from the findings that illicit drug, alcohol and tobacco use vary substantially among states and regions," SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie said. "To help continue to build on the gains we have made, SAMHSA announced last year a total of $230 million over five years to implement its Strategic Prevention Framework in 19 States and two territories to advance community-based programs for substance abuse prevention, mental health promotion and mental illness prevention. More awards are expected this year."

Estimates of past month use of any illicit drug ranged from a low of 6.3 percent in Utah to a high of 12.0 percent in Alaska for all persons ages 12 and older. Other states with high past month use of any illicit drug include Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Utah had the lowest rate in the nation for binge alcohol use in the past month among all persons ages 12 or older, 15.9 percent. Binge alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the 30 days prior to the survey. North Dakota had the highest rate, 31.4. Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also had high rates of binge drinking.

Drug Addiction Highest in D.C.

The report estimates that Tennessee has the lowest rate of past year dependence on or abuse of alcohol, 6.0 percent. The highest rate of alcohol dependence or abuse is 10.8 percent in North Dakota. The District of Columbia had the highest rate of past year illicit drug dependence or abuse, 4.0 percent. This compares with Kansas and Iowa, which had the lowest rate of dependence or abuse, 2.5 percent.

New Mexico had the highest percentage of persons ages 12 or older needing treatment for an illicit drug use problem, but not receiving it, 3.5 percent. Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and South Dakota all ranked in the top fifth of states for all three age groups for needing but not receiving treatment for an alcohol problem.

For specific drugs, Tennessee had the lowest rate, 7.4 percent, for marijuana use among those ages 12 and older in the past year, while Alaska had the highest rate, 16.7 percent. This compares to the national rate of 10.8 percent for marijuana use in the past year. For current use – use in the past month— Utah had the lowest rate, 4.0 percent of the population ages 12 and older, while New Hampshire had the highest rate, 10.2 percent. The national current use rate for marijuana was 6.2 percent.

Rates of Cocaine Use

The highest rate of past year cocaine use among persons ages 12 or older was found in Colorado, 3.9 percent. The lowest rate was found in Idaho, 1.6 percent. Arizona and Colorado were the only two states that ranked in the top fifth for all three age groups, 12-17, 18 to 25 and 26 or older.

Kentucky had the highest rate of past month tobacco use among persons ages 12 or older, 39.8 percent. Utah had the lowest rate, 19.7 percent.

Rhode Island had the highest rate of serious mental illness among persons ages 18 or older, 11 percent, while Hawaii had the lowest rate in the nation at 7.2 percent.

The report is available on the web at www.oas.samhsa.gov

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