Is drug use more prevalent in rural or urban areas?
Well, that all depends on what kinds of drugs you are talking about. Rural residents are more likely to abuse alcohol, but urban residents are more likely to abuse heroin.
Based on data provided by several SAMHSA reports, 12 Keys created this video about how rural rates of drug use compare to urban rates of drug use.
Illicit drug use is highest in highly urbanized areas (9.2% in large metro counties) and lowest in mostly rural areas (5.7% in rural counties). However, the demographics of substance abuse vary within both rural and urban regions.
Rural Drug Abuse Statistics
According to statistics reported on substance users seeking treatment, people living in rural areas are more likely to abuse alcohol. 50% of rehab clients in rural areas were seeking alcohol treatment, compared to only 36% of urban clients seeking treatment.
Rural regions also saw a greater number of male clients seeking treatment: 68% of rehab clients were male, while only 32% were female.
Rural residents were also more likely to have been sent to a treatment center as a result of a criminal justice hearing. 52% of treatment clients were referred by the justice system in rural areas but only 28% of urban clients were sent to treatment via the criminal justice system.
Another interesting fact to note about rural residents: Rehab clients in rural areas are more likely to be young adults. 26% of rural treatment clients were between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.
Urban Drug Abuse Statistics
But rural residents are not the only ones with substance use issues.
Urban residents seeking substance abuse treatment were more likely than rural residents to abuse heroin. 22% of urban treatment clients abused heroin but only 3% of rural clients did so.
Furthermore, 12% of urban residents abused cocaine, a statistic that drops to 6% in rural areas.
Mature adults are also more likely to seek rehab in urban areas than in rural areas, with 61% of urban rehab clients being between the ages of 26 and 49 years old.
One similarity that rural and urban drug abuse demographics have in common is that urban areas also have a higher percentage of male clients in their rehab centers. 70% of urban treatment clients are male and 30% are female.
Regardless of whether you live in a rural or urban area, drug abuse is a serious issue. If you or someone you know is abusing alcohol or illicit drugs, contact 12 Keys Rehab today.
Rural Vs. Urban Drug Abuse [Video Graphic]:
Video sources: SAMHSA 2011 DAWN Report, SAMHSA 2012 TEDS Report, SAMHSA 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
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