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Examining addiction in America

Examining addiction in America
Examining addiction in America

Addiction takes its toll on society. Families are hurt and businesses are unable to operate properly because of addiction. Each state has different rates of addiction, as well as different substances that are favored in each one.

Every year, alcohol addiction costs America $193 billion in healthcare costs, crime, and loss of productivity at work. Tobacco costs the United States a whopping $235 billion annually, and illicit drugs cost $193 billion.

Most states claim that marijuana is the most used and abused drug in the state, but some states have unbelievably high rates of herion and meth use. Massachusetts reports that 53% of illicit drugs used in that state are heroin, Washington D.C. reports a rate of 43% for crack, and Hawaii reports a rate of 39% for crystal meth.

The states with the lowest rates of hard drugs are Arkansas, which reports a rate of 1% for heroin, Rhode Island, which reports a rate of 0.25% for crystal meth, and North Dakota and Idaho, which both have only a 4% rate of crack use. New Mexico has a 14% rate of marijuana use, which is the lowest in the nation.

There is help and hope for addicts in the Affordable Care Act. It provides for better coverage of drug treatment for those who want to recover from their addictions. Addiction will no longer be marginalized and will instead be recognized as a chronic disease. There are still challenges to overcome with coverage of substance abuse treatment, however. Medicaid only covers facilities that have 16 beds or fewer, which is only about 10 percent of facilities, so people could still be turned away.

More improvements are still needed. Learn more about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on mental health services in the United States from this helpful infographic. You might be surprised what you will learn about addiction services in America.