MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The exploding opioid addiction problem has received a lot of attention recently. With the White House sending mixed messages about how it plans to deal with drug abuse, establishing a commission to study the opioid epidemic yet proposing to cut the Office of National Drug Control Policy's budget by 95%, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released a study on the states with the biggest drug problems in 2017.
This study compares the 50 states and the District of Columbia, using 15 different metrics - ranging from arrest and overdose rates to opioid prescriptions and meth-lab incidents per capita. Tennessee ranked 39th overall; Mississippi ranked 22nd, and Arkansas ranked 26th. Higher numbers indicate a lower drug problem.
The Biggest Drug Problems:
1. District of Columbia
5. Rhode Island
Alabama has 142.9 opioid pain reliever prescriptions for every 100 residents, leading the nation. On the other end of the spectrum, there are 52.0 opioid prescriptions for every 100 Hawaiians.
West Virginia has 42 drug overdose deaths for every 100,000 residents. That is six times more than Nebraska, which has the fewest overdose deaths, at 7 per 100,000 residents.
Colorado has the highest percentage of teens who used illicit drugs in the past month, at 14.58 percent. That is 2.5 times higher than in Iowa, which has the lowest rate (6.31 percent).
Colorado has the highest percentage of adults who used illicit drugs in the past month, at 17.06 percent, topping South Dakota's low (5.76 percent) by 2.8 times.
At 16.50 percent, the percentage of New Mexico teens who tried marijuana before age 13 is 4.3 times higher than in Utah (3.70 percent), where teens are least likely to do so.
Click here to view the full report and learn about drug abuse in your state.