D.C. fares worst in drug-related issues | Behavioral Healthcare Executive Skip to content Skip to navigation

D.C. fares worst in drug-related issues

May 15, 2017
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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A personal-finance website, WalletHub, released a study, States with the Biggest Drug Problems in 2017, on Monday that distills 15 different measures into state rankings. On a 100-point scale, the District of Columbia was found to have the highest rating of drug-related issues, and Idaho was found to have the lowest.

"Because the drug problem in America has had such an economic impact nationwide, this is an issue we chose to analyze,” analyst Jill Gonzalez tells Behavioral Healthcare Executive in an email.

The five states with the biggest issues, according to WalletHub, are:



District of Columbia








Rhode Island



Among the measures that contributed to the final rankings, the District of Columbia was found to have the highest percentage of adults who needed but didn’t receive treatment for illicit drug use in the past year, at 3.21%. It also had second-place scores for adult and teenage drug use.

When comparing the states with more prevalent issues to the states with less prevalent issues, the largest gap was found in the measure of treatment received per 100,000 individuals in need of treatment, with a 12-times difference between Connecticut (most treatment) and New Mexico (least amount of treatment). Additionally, the analysis found more drug-related issues in states that voted Democrat in the 2016 presidential election than states that voted Republican.

Measures include drug use, treatment and law enforcement information, and data such as the state’s percentage of adults who used illicit drugs in the past month, for example, received stronger weight in the scoring. Data used to create the WalletHub ranking were collected from public sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SAMHSA and others.