States With the Biggest Heroin Problem

A jug of used needles to exchange for new is seen in an industrial area of Camden, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Reporting by Nick Selbe, GRAPHIQ.

America has been fighting a war on drugs for decades, and the fight continues to this day. The primary target of today? Heroin. No other drug has risen in popularity more. In the past decade, heroin overdoses in the United States have skyrocketed, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

The sheer volume of reported overdoses is staggering. Recent figures show that the demographic group with the largest increase in heroin use has been whites. With this troubling trend in mind, HealthGrove decided to examine the issue at the state level.

Using data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, we identified the 23 states that have seen the largest percentage increase in reported patients admitted to rehab clinics for heroin use from 2002 to 2012.

*Note: 10 states — Arizona, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming — did not have data available, so they are not included in this list.


#10 Ohio
Total 2002 admits: 4,325
Total 2012 admits: 9,515

Percent increase: +120 percent


#9 North Carolina
Total 2002 admits: 848
Total 2012 admits: 1,869

Percent increase: +120.4 percent


#8 South Dakota
Total 2002 admits: 7
Total 2012 admits: 30

Percent increase: +328.6 percent


#7 Nebraska
Total 2002 admits: 20
Total 2012 admits: 94

Percent increase: +370 percent


#6 Minnesota

Total 2002 admits: 775
Total 2012 admits: 4,089

Percent increase: +427.6 percent


#5 Indiana
Total 2002 admits: 66
Total 2012 admits: 410

Percent increase: +521.2 percent


#4 Oregon
Total 2002 admits: 4,421
Total 2012 admits: 39,051

Percent increase: +783.3 percent


#3 Missouri
Total 2002 admits: 249
Total 2012 admits: 4,065

Percent increase: +1,532.5 percent


#2 Alaska
Total 2002 admits: 11
Total 2012 admits: 197

Percent increase: +1,690.9 percent


#1 Kentucky
Total 2002 admits: 65
Total 2012 admits: 1,282

Percent increase: +1,872.3 percent