Numbing down of America

Tracking the state-by-state use of mood-altering drugs

As part of its State of the States series—which seeks to measure the country’s well-being—Gallup asked residents of each state how often they use drugs that “affect your mood or help you relax.” Nationally, 18.9 percent of Americans reported using mood-altering drugs—everything from cigarettes to prescription medication—on a daily basis. What states were the highest and lowest users?

% of population using almost every day:

Highest use

West Virginia (28.1)

Rhode Island (25.9)

Kentucky (24.5)

Alabama (24.2)

Loiusiana (22.9)

Lowest use

Alaska (13.5)

Wyoming (15.5)

California (15.8)

Illinois (16)

North Dakota (16.4)