5 Cities With the Worst Substance Abuse Problem

If you take a look at national substance abuse statistics by city, it’s evident that some regions suffer from bigger drug problems than others. In particular, states such as Maryland and Louisiana are not only home to cities with major drug problems, but they also have seen dramatic increases in drug use in recent years. If you live in or are traveling through any of these five cities, stay safe and steer clear of any known drug areas.

Heroin Abuse in Baltimore, MD

In Baltimore, Maryland, the primary drug threat is heroin. In 2006, there were more than 180 overdoses related to heroin use. As of 2012, heroin was still Baltimore’s primary drug problem and it continues to be among the worst in the country. To make matters worse, heroin use statistics are trending upward causing even more concern.

Drug Abuse in Espanola, NM

Like Baltimore, Espanola, New Mexico also suffers from a staggering heroin problem. Overall, there are 42.5 deaths caused by drugs for every 100,000 citizens in Espanola, which is nearly six times greater than the national average. While Espanola drug rehab facilities continue to fight the growing problem, treatment centers are using outpatient-only options or referring patients to out-of-area providers.

Meth Epidemic in Missoula, MT

In Missoula, Montana, meth is a major drug problem. Meth-related crimes are responsible for half of the state’s incarcerations. As of 2015, the meth problem in Missoula and throughout other parts of Montana has continued to grow.

Murder Rates & Drug Abuse in New Orleans, LA

Not only does New Orleans, Louisiana, suffer from one of the biggest drug problems in the country, but in 2009 the city also had the highest murder rate — at 95 murders per 100,000 people. Experts say the dramatic increase in murders was due to the drug-related turf wars that broke out as people began returning to New Orleans following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Washington, D.C. Cocaine Abuse

Though Washington, D.C., neighbors Baltimore and its growing heroin problem, the nation’s capital is plagued with a different kind of drug problem: cocaine. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5.22% of Washington, D.C., residents report using cocaine, which is the highest level of any other city in the nation. Substance abuse statistics by city reveal that these five cities are dealing with serious drug problems. While most cities are suffering from an epidemic of one particular type of drug, others are hit with a surge in other drug overdoses and drug-related crime, too. Sources Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Drug Overdose Death Data. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/statedeaths.html Kato, D. (2016). Missoula, state agencies report meth back on the rise. https://missoulian.com/news/local/missoula-state-agencies-report-meth-back-on-the-rise/article_d7826f5d-e4de-54eb-8e6b-0b2a21ee187f.html National Drug Intelligence Center. (2002). New Mexico Drug Threat Assessment: Heroin. https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs07/803/heroin.htm National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2013). Drug Abuse Patterns and Trends in Baltimore City, Maryland, and Washington, DC: June 2013. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/organization/workgroups-interest-groups-consortia/community-epidemiology-work-group-cewg/baltimore-city-maryland-washington-dc VanLandingham, M. J. (2007). Murder Rates in New Orleans, La, 2004–2006. American Journal of Public Health, 97(9), 1614-1616. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1963280/ Vardi, N. (2009). The Drug Capitals of America. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/2009/01/20/narcotics-heroin-cocaine-biz-beltway-cz_nv_0121drugcities.html

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