West Virginia Drug and Alcohol Addiction Statistics
West Virginia has one of the highest rates of drug overdose fatalities in the United States, most of which are attributed to prescription drugs. The most commonly abused prescription drug is OxyContin, a powerful opiate pain killer.
The most commonly used drug overall in West Virginia is marijuana. Much of the cannabis used in West Virginia is grown locally, but a good portion is imported from other states and Mexico. Marijuana is illegal in West Virginia.
Methamphetamine use has risen within West Virginia in the past several years, though meth labs within the state have been curbed due to regulation of pseudoephedrine, one of the key ingredients in meth. However, the new “shake and bake” method can be performed anywhere in a shorter amount of time and using less pseudoephedrine than traditional meth production methods. This has resulted to an increase in manufacturing and use of individual doses of meth, rather than larger batches in home laboratories.
Drinking rates in West Virginia are significantly lower than the rest of the country. Only 30% of adult West Virginians reported having at least one alcoholic beverage in the past month, which is much lower than the national rate of 58%. Only one state – Utah – has lower rates of drinking than West Virginia, but West Virginia beats out even Utah for lowest rates of heavy drinkers, defined as having two or more alcoholic beverages per day on average. West Virginia’s rate of heavy drinkers is only 2.8%.
However, adolescent rates of alcohol use aren’t nearly as low. Around 34% of high school students in Virginia reported having at least one alcoholic beverage in the past 30 days, which is still lower than the national rate of 39%.
West Virginia does not have rates of behavioral disorders that vary significantly from national averages.