15 Feb Utah Drug Use Statistics

In the 2012 Gallup poll that rated which states were the best to live in, Utah came out on the very top. This poll was based on having clean water, low smoking habits, and happiness in the workplace, among other things. Studies like this, combined with the generally positive ideas that residents have here, make some of the state’s drug use statistics surprising.

About 6% of Utahns reported using illicit drugs in the past month. This is below the national average of 8%, but still a startling number when you think of it in terms of how many of your neighbors or colleagues could be a part of this statistic.

Stimulants, including methamphetamines, are the most commonly abused drugs. This is followed closely marijuana, then heroin. The statistics surrounding meth addiction in Utah has been a growing cause for concern in recent years, as those numbers continue to increase.

Drug-induced deaths in Utah occur at a higher rate than the national average. In 2007, 546 people died in Utah as a direct result of drug abuse. More people died from drug abuse than from automobile accidents or firearms. Drugged driving is contributing to more and more deaths, and is a major factor in automobile accidents. According to the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS), one in three motor vehicle accidents involving a fatality tested positive for drug use when a test was performed.

In addition to these statistics, prescription drug abuse and marijuana use are steadily increasing each year, even in Utah. It’s important to be aware of these pitfalls as a community and do what we can to raise awareness. Those in the 18-25 age group are the ones who use drugs most often, and these habits often begin as teenagers. Educating young people on the risks involved with illicit drug use can help decrease these numbers.

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