Louisiana is like the rest of the United States in the sense that it has been witnessing an increase in the rates of substance abuse and addiction among its residents. Of these rates, the highest involve opioid drugs - both legal prescription pain relief medications as well as illicit opioids like fentanyl and heroin.
In 2018, about 40 percent of all the 1,140 cases of drug related overdose deaths in the state were linked to opioids. This number was a total of 444 deaths, at a rate of 10 deaths per capita.
The same year, health care providers such as doctors and pharmacists - wrote an average of 79.4 prescriptions for opioid medications for every segment of 100 people. This was higher than the national average of 51.4 prescriptions that were written across the United States for every segment of 100 people. This rate was also ranked among the top 5 in the country.
The rates at which children born to mothers who abused opioid drugs during their pregnancy has been increasing. This is visible from the number of cases of children born struggling with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (or NAS) and Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (or NOWS). In 2017, the state reported 5.6 cases of NOWS and NAS for every total of 1,000 births that occurred in its hospitals.
1,011 new diagnoses were made for HIV/AIDS in the state of Louisiana in 2017. Of this number, 7.9 percent of the males who got a positive diagnosis for the first time claimed to have engaged in male to male sexual contact or intravenous drug use - or IDU. Of the female clients, 9.9 parent claimed to have been engaging in intravenous drug use.
The same year, the state reported that more than 20,000 people had already been diagnosed with this condition. This was at a rate of 527.9 for every segment of 100,000 people.
Louisiana was ranked, from 2009 to 2010, among the top 10 states in the country for the highest rates of opioid pain relief medication use for a non-medical purpose in the past year for people between the ages of 18 and 25 years. This was according to the NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - that was published for that period.
The rates of death in the state were also higher than total national averages for 2009 - specifically with respect to the fatalities that were induced by drugs and alcohol. From 2004 to 2008, however, St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana reported the 5th highest rates of drug related deaths in the United States. This was at a rate of 48 fatalities for every segment of 100,000 people.
To reduce your risk of suffering an accidental or intentional overdose or even end up losing your life due to substance abuse and addiction, it is recommended that you seek recovery services. There are highly qualified, licensed, and accredited addiction treatment facilities and programs in the state of Louisiana that offer these services.