Rhode Island ranked 5th-worst drug problem in nation

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island ranked fifth in a study measuring states (and the District of Columbia) with the largest drug problem according to a Wallethub report on Monday. The study ranked states in three categories, drug use and addiction, law enforcement and drug health issues and rehab.

Most notably, Rhode Island scored third worst in the drug use and addiction category, with the third-highest percent of adult drug users in the study, with a reported 14.8 percent of adults who have used illicit drugs in the past month. Rhode Island’s rankings for teens wasn’t much better, as the state ranked fifth worst in the nation with 12.1 percent of teenagers who have used illicit drugs in the past month at the time of the survey.

Rhode Island also recorded 28.2 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents, ranking fifth worst in the nation.

Yet, Rhode Island had the fourth-fewest drug arrests per capita in the nation with 1.7 arrests per 1,000 citizens.

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Rhode Island received money to fight the opioid crisis as recent as last month, and has recently made opioids harder to procure.

The rest of the Northeast didn’t fare much better. In fact, all of New England ranked in the bottom 11 states in the nation, with the exception of Maine, which ranked 17th worst.

  • Massachusetts ranked ninth worst in the study,
  • Connecticut was seventh worst in the nation,
  • New Hampshire ranked 11th worst,
  • Vermont was the second worst, behind only the District of Columbia.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.