Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More on the Geography of Drugs in the US

Some people wanted to see maps of the distributions of specific drugs, to which I say: very well! Here are some more maps derived from the SAMHSA report's own maps. First, weed:

weed map of the united states

Here's coke:

coke map of the united states

Here's painkillers:

painkillers map of the united states

Here's a heroin map, based on a different SAMHSA report (note this one shows "TEDS treatment admissions," rather than actual use):

heroin map of the united states

And here's a map for meth (from a previous post; also shows admissions rather than drug use per se):



Some interesting stuff here. I wonder how it's possible for New York to be in the top quintile for cocaine use, and New Jersey to be in the bottom quintile. And I wonder why heroin is so heavily concentrated in the Northeast Corridor while that same region is practically meth-free. And I wonder why the Mountain West uses tons of drugs, but the Plains states not so much. And I wonder why Mississippians don't like to do drugs. I wonder many things.

There are more maps in the SAMHSA report, but again I warn you: their color scheme is profoundly misguided.

UPDATE
: All right, one more. Here's overall drug use, non-marijuana division:

non-marijuana drug use map of the united states

37 comments:

Richard said...

Interesting that heroin seems to be the big-city/urban/suburban drug instead of cocaine (which, surprisingly to me, has a much more rural profile. . .I wonder how much of the heavy usage of cocaine in the SW is on the reservations). Meth doesn't seem to be a very East Coast thing. Does one drug replace another as you go up the socioeconomic spectrum? I'm wondering if people use heroin instead of meth when they can afford to/have easy access to it (does heroin cost more than meth)?

The Mountain West in general is more libertarian than the Plains States, so weed usage probably isn't as big a deal over there (gotta be able to differentiate between your flyover country). At least I understand that much.

jenny said...

Purple maps but no Purple Stuff?

Gus Snarp said...

Sadly, no maps or raw data, but here is a study that attempts to get around the issues of survey responses (my be lies) and treatment reporting (may overstate or understate actual drug use) by testing wastewater for the presence of drugs:

http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/07/17/new.study.uses.wastewater.map.large.scale.patterns.illicit.drug.use

Chachy said...

R - As a flyover-country-based blog, the Map Scroll bows to no one in its ability to make distinctions between the sociopolitical tendencies of US sub-regions. And there are two reasons that I don't fully buy the libertarian hypothesis for higher pot-smoking rates in Western Mountain states vs. the Plains: 1) A libertarian philosophy may impel one to be more accepting, or at least more disinterested, in others' weed-related habits, but doesn't necessarily imply that one would be more likely to smoke weed oneself; and (more importantly) 2) the drug maps in general don't bear it out. The Northeast and the West Coast are the two most socially liberal regions in the country, followed by the interior west; but some of the highest non-weed drug use is in the South (very much a non-socially liberal region).

J - If only...

GS - Saw that. Interesting. But don't they know we need to see the maps?

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Anonymous said...

Why is Mississippi different? There are a LOT of Blacks there and many are very religious and don't use drugs. Blacks in Mississippi are VERY different from Blacks in New York. Whites tend to use coke, MJ, Heroin & Meth and Blacks tend to use just Crack. They are poorer and just like the get more bang for the buck in a tall 40, crack is cheaper but more destructive.

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Interesting that one of the criteria used is "hospital admissions". I wonder how much taxpayers spend each year providing a safety net for those who choose to use recreational drugs but choose not to be insured?

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