Substance abuse and addiction is a common problem in Iowa - as it is in the rest of the United States. However, the rates of illicit drug abuse in this state is the 2nd lowest in the country. This is according to the Iowa Drug Control Strategy for 2018 that was published by the state governor's office.
Although this is encouraging news, drug and alcohol abuse still exists in the state. This problem, that is commonly referred to as an addiction or a substance use disorder, affects residents across racial backgrounds, socioeconomic levels, ages, and genders. It also destroys lives.
The highest rates of substance abuse and addiction in the state are linked to alcohol. In 2017, for instance, about 45 percent of all the admissions in addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities in Iowa were linked to alcohol.
The state also classifies about 21 percent of its total population as binge drinkers. This is higher than the total national averages of around 17 percent. Further, the rates of heavy drinking in Iowa are set at 7 percent and they are higher than the national averages of 6.5 percent.
Following alcohol, marijuana is the 2nd most common substance of abuse among local residents. Over 25 percent of juvenile and adult residents list this drug as their primary substance of abuse. This makes marijuana the most common illicit substance in the state.
Apart from alcohol, crystal meth and marijuana are responsible for the highest rates of substance impaired driving and traffic fatalities that are linked to intoxicating and mind altering substances.
In recent years, the potency of marijuana within the state has been growing stronger. This is due - at least in part - to the increase in the availability of such concentrates as edibles, wax, hash, and oils from other neighboring states where the drug is legal.
Methamphetamine has been reported to be another common substance of abuse in Iowa - with around 19 percent of the youth and adult population admitted to an addiction treatment center citing that they are enrolled in these programs for abusing this drug. Further, meth is responsible for around 93 percent of all the drug-related admissions into state prisons.
In recent years, however, the rates of meth abuse have been decreasing. This is due to the state-wide crackdown on meth labs. Iowa has also legislated laws that limit the wide availability of the ingredients that are essential to the manufacture of the drug - particularly pseudoephedrine. Even so, the drug is still outsourced from other neighboring states.
Iowa has witnessed a growth in the opioid crisis sweeping across the rest of the United States. In 2017, 2.5 percent of all admissions into an addiction treatment center in the state were linked to heroin as the primary substance of abuse. This number had tripled for more than 6 years.
Licensed and accredited addiction treatment centers exist in the state. These facilities provide high quality recovery, rehabilitation, and treatment services and they can guide clients in Iowa away from their substance abuse and addiction to a lifestyle of long term wellness and health.