Author: Justin Mckibben
Summertime is good for a lot of things, not just the sunshine and lighter clothes (although here in Florida we get that all the time, just saying). Of course with the amazing weather comes more of the great outdoors and every activity under the sun, and for a lot of Americans drinking is involved.
So one company decided to take some tallies and see which states drink the most during the summer, and some of these results may be a little surprising to a few residents.
BACtrack is a company from sunny California specializing in breathalyzers, specially the portable kind. The company collects and shares consumer Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) data for review and analysis that is used in these reports, and this is the 4th report so far they have made using their data.
The data provides insight into alcohol consumption patterns around the nation, and is regularly updated and analyzed.
In this report the company examines average BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels during the summer months of 2014 including:
The data was collected anonymously from over 71K unique BAC tests from users of BACtrack Mobile, BACtrack’s award-winning smartphone breathalyzer, and BaCtrack Vio, which sync with their app. The report was collected from users in the United States with data storage activated, location services turned on, and does not represent data from all users.
States with highest BAC levels
- West Virginia- 0.103
- Nevada- 0.095
- Pennsylvania- 0.088
- Connecticut- 0.088
- Nebraska- 0.082
States with lowest BAC levels
- New Mexico- 0.055
- Missouri- 0.048
- Washington D.C.- 0.043
- Delaware- 0.042
- Kentucky- 0.039
When Do Americans Drink the Most?
According to BACtrack data, the summer drinking rates start and finish on a high note, only experiencing a slight decline towards the end of July. The summer is obviously a prominent drinking season, with over 47% of days throughout the 3 summer months (June, July and August) generating an average BAC above 0.060%, which is actually the national average throughout the entire year!
When are America’s peak drinking days from the summer?
The first place spot for ‘Most Drunk Day of Summer’ is actually a tie for last year. The average BAC was 0.082% and the 2 days were:
- Summer Solstice, the official start of summer
- 4th of July
The week leading up to July 4th is also the booziest week of the summer, with an average BAC of 0.075%. No other week has an average BAC over 0.070%.
Another tie goes to the average BAC per month, with July and August both hitting about 0.063%, but according to this data Americans drink the most in June, with an average BAC of 0.066%.
8 of the 13 biggest drinking days of the summer are Saturdays, with average BACs between 0.075% and 0.082%.
Most SOBER Days
One fun fact that probably wouldn’t come as much of a shock is Mondays and Tuesdays are the days with the least drinking.
- Tuesday, August 5th registered the lowest average BAC of 0.034%
- Monday, July 21st was second place with 0.039% average BAC
- Monday, June 9 and Monday Aug 4 tied for third with both of them showing a 0.040% average BAC
It’s probably safe to say that summer is a big drinking season, and it can be a tempting time for an alcoholic. Between taking vacations and attending holiday functions, some people recovering from alcoholism might find it a little hard avoiding a drink.
Sobriety isn’t a seasonal thing. Lasting sobriety doesn’t really depend on the weather or the holidays, just on the action an individual is willing to put in to stay sober. This summer relax and enjoy all that sunshine, but also stay true to the things in life that keep you happy and fulfilled.
Take part in some new summer activities, go on an adventure, spend time with your sober supports or whatever it is you do to stay active and involved.
For the alcoholic who still suffers, the summertime can be a hard time to give up the life, but making the decision to stop drinking may be what ensures you another summer. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Take a moment of silence and consider the facts. It’s not unlikely that right now somewhere someone is dying from a drug overdose.
In all reality, several people just like you and me will die today overdosing.
Drug overdose deaths have continued to scar our country at increasingly distressing rates. According to the most recent reports drug overdose death rates have increased in 26 states and Washington, D.C. as overdoses continue to outpace car crashes as the leading cause of injury-related deaths.
6 states have improved:
- North Dakota
But not everyone has been so fortunate, and the greater half has gotten worse as these state have been subjected to an epidemic that has claimed more lives in a tragic trend that is crippling families and communities all over.
So where does your state fall?
State Ranked Overdose Deaths
The following information was provided by a statistics and studies site claiming to pull all data from over 18,000 sources.
The statistics used for these rankings are for drug overdose death rates in the United States in 2014, sorted by U.S. states with number of deaths from drug overdose per 100,000 inhabitants. So the number doesn’t represent the total number of deaths, but the average per populous. The following list shows all 50 states from lowest to highest overdose death rate in the United States:
(Remember- # of deaths per every 100,000 people)
- North Dakatoa- 3 deaths
- South Dakota- 6.1 deaths
- Nebraska- 7.3 deaths
- Virginia- 8.4 deaths
- Iowa- 8.5 deaths
- Minnesota- 8.6 deaths
- New York- 9 deaths
- Texas- 9.9 deaths
- Kansas- 10.4 deaths
- Georgia- 10.8 deaths
- Mississippi- 10.9 deaths
- California- 11 deaths
- Connecticut- 11 deaths
- Maine- 11 deaths
- Illinois- 11.1 deaths
- Vermont- 11.3 deaths
- New Jersey- 11.6 deaths
- Alabama- 11.7 deaths
- Hawaii- 11.7 deaths
- Wisconsin- 11.8 deaths
- Massachusetts- 12.1 deaths
- Maryland- 12.2 deaths
- Idaho- 12.3 deaths
- Arkansas- 12.6 deaths
- North Carolina- 12.6 deaths
- Montana- 12.8 deaths
- Louisiana- 12.9 deaths
- Oregon-13.1 deaths
- New Hampshire- 13.4 deaths
- South Carolina- 13.5 deaths
- Michigan- 13.9 deaths
- Washington- 14 deaths
- Alaska- 14.4 deaths
- Colorado- 14.8 deaths
- Indiana- 15.1 deaths
- Florida- 15.2 deaths
- Wyoming- 15.7 deaths
- Missouri- 16.3 deaths
- Delaware- 16.6 deaths
- Tennessee- 17.2 deaths
- Rhode Island- 17.3 deaths
- Pennsylvania- 17.4 deaths
- Ohio- 17.5 deaths
- Arizona- 17.7 deaths
- Oklahoma- 19.8 deaths
- Utah- 20.1 deaths
- Nevada- 22.2 deaths
- Kentucky- 24 deaths
- New Mexico- 24.8 deaths
- West Virginia- 31.3 deaths
Surprised where your state is? I know I was!
Of course it is essential that you consider several elements that can contribute to these numbers. Some areas have a much smaller population, so state wide they will typically have more addicts and therefore more overdoses.
Still, looking at these averages and wondering how we can hope to curb such a depressing trend makes the mission seem of paramount importance.
Thankfully the numbers of states that have “rescue drug” laws that allow prescription access to overdose antidotes like naloxone have doubled since 2013, and new initiatives are consistently being developed and applied to try and educate citizens about drug abuse, overdose and their treatment options.
Not all overdoses are due to drug abuse either. While in a lot of cases it’s probably safe to assume the individual was a hard drug user or drug addict, it is not the only explanation. Some individuals don’t understand the dangers of mixing certain drugs with each other or with alcohol and the devastating effect it can have on the body.
Out of all this we can definitely determine one fundamental and undeniable truth- the epidemic is real. The problem is right here, and it’s across the nation on the west coast. It is back in my home town of Ohio (8) reaping havoc on the Midwest, and it is killing thousands everywhere in between. This isn’t just heroin, or opiates, but all drugs.
New initiatives aim to change all this. Support for treatment, harm reduction and education should render our current practices in the war on drugs obsolete, because these numbers show us America stands at this critical crossroads.
I personally challenge more people to get involved in raising awareness and speaking up, in memory of those we will lose today.
There is a way out. We each can do our part to change that statistic, and for the addict or alcoholic who still suffers there are thousands of people just like you who have recovered and who want to help you. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Let’s face it, we live in the digital age, and to so many people Google.com is our answer to everything! We google our movies, our music, our food and even pages upon pages of cat photos. We even talked once about how so many people use google to self-diagnose their illnesses that Google is creating an option to connect browsers directly to doctors to provide a slightly more accurate approach.
So tracking Google searches is a good way to find out what people are searching, what’s trending, and what to do when your cat gets a cold at a given time. Well apparently, Google search statistics can also be collected and analyzed using ‘Google Trends’ to show us what drugs people in America are doing and where, or what drugs the most people in one area are ‘curious’ about at least.
National Drug Google Data
According to the combined data that began in 2004, cocaine is actually the most searched for drug across the country over the past decade. Interesting enough, the drug crystal meth is steadily rising across the board, and searches for heroin and prescription drugs have become more common in the last five years. That should come as no surprising given that the country has been experiencing what many have dubbed an ‘opiate epidemic’, and prescription painkillers are currently public enemy number one in regard to overdose accidents in emergency rooms.
Meth has already been prevalent in the Midwest since 2004, but it didn’t get any surge of searches in other parts of the country until 2012. Adderall interest surged in recent years across the nation, but especially on the East Coast of the country.
Typically official crime rates and hospital statistics provide some good insight into drug abuse across the United States, but this accumulative data brought together by Google also reveals the extent of an illicit substances popularity on a state-by-state basis.
Mathamphetamine (Crystal Meth)
- During the 2000’s methamphetamine was reported as one of the most commonly abused drugs in the nation, and at one point meth even managed to surpass cocaine as it swept across Middle America.
- There was a spike in meth searches in 2005 and 2006. At the height of the it was the single most searched for drug in dozens of states.
- In the years 2013 and 2014 particularly interest in meth once again soared. These were the years when searches for meth took over the US, especially the west.
- Searches for the anxiety medication Xanax have also risen throughout the Midwest and south.
- Searches for Xanax first appeared in around 2009, and grew in popularity until around 2012, when they dipped.
- Then again Xanax searches made a comeback in 2013. Xanax-related hospital visits have doubled across the country over the past six years.
- In 2010 the prescription stimulant commonly prescribed for ADHD called Adderall became another popular substance of abuse.
- In between 2011 and 2012 Adderall was the only drug that came close to the number of Google searches for cocaine.
- 2013 and 2014 Adderall dominated the eastern states.
- Heroin was steadily searched for from 2004 until 2011.
- 2006 showed a spike searches for heroin in a few states including Maryland and Utah.
- As addictive prescription painkillers have become more tightly regulated, heroin has become an increasingly popular substitute in Pennsylvania and Oregon.
- After prescription opiate regulation started to step up to combat ‘pill mills’ and ‘doctor shopping’ the searches for heroin across the board began to rise, and reached a peak last year in 2014 as the opiate epidemic rages on.
State by State Basis
All the drugs studied have been rising since the end of 2009, except cocaine which has been on a bit of up and down from 2009-2012, and then up again from 2012 until now. When measuring the most popular searches for specific drugs in select states, researchers also came up with some interesting data. The top searches in some states are as follows:
- Los Angeles, California- Meth and LSD
- Pennsylvania- Heroin
- Massachusetts- Suboxone (a replacement opiate drug commonly used to wean off heroin use, but also commonly abused)
- New Orleans- Adderal
- New York- Cociane
- Seattle- OxyContin and ‘Magic Mushrooms’
- Virginia- Painkiller Oxycodone
- Florida- MDMA
With numbers like these, we can determine that while not every drug is becoming popular everywhere, there are some clear indications that a few have made their mark all over the map.
Granted some people who Google these drugs may be looking for treatment, they may be trying to help a loved one, they may even be writing a term paper or doing some other form of academic research, but for the most part you can assume that these drugs are being searched in these areas for a reason. We can only hope that the number of searches for treatment is rising as part of these statistics.
Like it or not, the world is still searching for the answers to the drug problem. The internet is speculated to be both part of the problem and part of the solution, but any way you look at it there is a need in this nation for some change. Each of us has the ability to take some action, we just need to commit to that first step toward a different future. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
I dare you to take a wild guess what the heroin capital of the United States is. Some used to suspect it was New Jersey, or maybe even Boston, Massachusetts. Nope. Try Baltimore, Maryland… or more infamously referred to by some of its more creative population as ‘Body-more Murder-land’! Also called B-more, as in “Y’all B****’s Better B(e)-More Careful” according to a Baltimore, MD native. This area has gained some obvious notoriety for its rough edges and gritty streets as depicted in hit series The Wire. Government agencies estimate that as many as one in 10 of the residents of the city of Baltimore are addicted to heroin. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) claims that the city of Baltimore has the highest per capita heroin addiction rate in the country! And the DEA also estimates that the total number of addicts in the city may vary, but experts agree it’s a very staggering statistic.
Interview with the Addicts
A recent interview with a 42 year old Baltimore resident named Wanda, who was one of the many addicts in the area, gave an interesting insight into the current situation.
“I did tricks, I stole, I robbed, I did whatever I had to do to get it,” Wanda said about her $50-a-day heroin habit. “The drug was taking control of my life.”
Wanda, who requested that her last name not be used in the publications about her interview, said she had begun using heroin at the age of 18. Now she is in a drug addiction rehabilitation program at the Center for Addiction Medicine in downtown Baltimore. Drug-free for more than two months, Wanda is very open and honest about the desperation of the devastating and deadly heroin habit, admitting to the interviewer,
“I Wanted to Die.”
This same sentiment of a drug user’s death wish was repeated in other interviews, including an interview with a young man named Jonathan who at 18 years old says he has contemplated suicide in the past. Jonathan had just quit the drug, and explains that his $140 a day heroin habit had pushed him to the point where he has lost his “feeling of self-worth”, and he had pondered intentionally overdosing on the drug. Since he has been off heroin, Jonathan has been treated with what is described as a ‘substitute drug’ prescription of buprenorphine.
A 27-year-old woman who asked to be identified only as “T” who is currently undergoing treatment says her heroin addiction turned her from a ballet student into an exotic dancer.
“I went from dancing at the Peabody [Institute] to dancing in a strip club — that’s how I paid for that habit,” she says. “[Heroin] will make you do things you wouldn’t expect yourself to do.”
Baltimore City Statistics
There seems to be no shame in the Baltimore drug game, with narcotic transactions taking place in broad daylight at Lexington Market. On one episode of Drugs, Inc. featuring Baltimore an addict tells viewers Baltimore “is where you want to be for heroin,” and she scores some drugs, the local heroin addict lets the camera watch her cook and shoot up in her car on a street that appears to be in Hampden. The hour long episode is filled with unnamed men in masks sitting behind bags full of dope and tables filled with guns, pills and money making malicious remarks and blatantly displaying disregard for police.
With an estimated population of 645,000 the Baltimore Department of Health estimates that there are 60,000 drug addicts, with as many as 48,000 of them hooked on heroin. Beyond that federal report released last month puts the number of heroin addicts alone at 60,000. This astounding number goes to show why experts are now viewing Baltimore as the heroin capital in America. The heroin infestation in Baltimore is so acute that the federal government has designated Baltimore part of what it calls a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, making it eligible for special federal assistance to local police forces while trying to combat the rising population of addicts in the area.
The director of the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA program Tom Carr says the heroin epidemic in Baltimore dates back to the 1950s and is now an engrained part of the city’s culture. The Washington/Baltimore HIDTA program is Carr a joint federal, state and local effort to confront the heroin outbreak head-on.
“It’s an old ‘heroin town’. There is an appetite for heroin in Baltimore … It’s accepted by all too many people down there as something that’s normal behavior,” Carr included in a recent statement addressing the issue.
“It’s almost a rite of passage for some,” he adds, noting that heroin habits are often passed down from generation to generation.
Purer, Stronger, More Deadly
One in every 10 residents of the city of Baltimore snorts, smokes, or more commonly heats and then injects the white powder with a needle, and according to a February report by the HIDTA the heroin found in Baltimore is significantly more potent than the heroin sold in many other areas of the country.
In the mid-1990s, Baltimore became a key East Coast distribution point for high purity South American heroin. Smuggled into the United States from Colombia, South American heroin is considerably more pure than its East Asian and Mexican counterparts. The fact that this heroin is so much more potent makes it more addictive and more deadly. There were 304 fatal heroin-related overdoses in Baltimore and the number of heroin-related hospital emergencies was very similar in the last year alone!
Now with the average price tag for this dangerous narcotic being quoted at about $100 to $120 per gram, combined with the higher potency, and with a noticeable increase in availability the reduced street price is fueling the Baltimore’s plague of heroin addiction by luring in new users more than ever. Many are fooled into thinking because the drug can be used by snorting or smoking it that it is safer than the traditional stigma of shooting the drug with needles, but this is absolutely not the case. Heroin consumed in any way is just as deadly.
Sadly, Baltimore may not be anywhere close to getting out of this epidemic just yet, and the Washington/Baltimore HIDTA program predicted in its February situation report, “The number of heroin addicts in Baltimore will continue to rise. However there is help locally for drug addiction treatment, as well as outside the city.
If they say that Baltimore, MD is now known as the ‘Heroin Capital of America’ than the popular opinion that South Florida is the ‘Recovery Capital of America’ should come as a relief to so many. While there is still plenty of reform and action that must be taken all over the country, it may be a fair assumption that some areas would be more conducive to building a foundation in recovery, as others are assumed to be more dangerous for addicts. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Most Mexicans can hardly believe that Mexican drug lord Chapo Guzman has been arrested. This chubby little man with a Super Mario mustache was trudged into a helicopter by a masked marine with a gloved hand firmly on his neck. El Chapo, Joaquín Guzmán, was the worlds most wanted and most elusive drug lord and shockingly enough, he has been captured.
Mr. Guzmán was arrested early Saturday in a hotel-condominium in Mazatlán, on the Pacific Ocean in Sinaloa, the Mexican state that is the center of his universal drug operation. Further straining belief, he was taken silently, without a gun fight. The government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has a victory to celebrate but also the huge challenge that comes with taking into custody someone so powerful and unsafe. No one knows what new violence may occur from the beheading of a multibillion-dollar crime set-up that ranges from the mountains of rural Mexico to hubs in Chicago and other American cities and beyond.
Though Mr. Guzmán had allegedly dissociated himself from day-to-day control of his massive operation, many feel sure that the octopus will grow another head and continue as before. There are rival cliques, like the Zetas, known for crazy viciousness and for escalating into human trafficking and extortion, which will certainly seek to seize advantage. There are other splinter narco-groups and the unidentified webs of influence among the government and businesses that will modify to the new reality. There are uncertainties whether the Mexican government will even be able to keep Mr. Guzmán locked up; he had already fled from one maximum-security prison, and he has shown a skill to conduct his businesses from within prison walls. There is already pressure to transfer Mr. Guzmán to the United States, where he faces numerous federal drug charges.
Though Mr. Guzmán has been famous, unreasonably, by balladeers singing of his cruel supremacy, there is certainly relief that he’s in custody. His arrest contradicts the sad certainty of the pessimists who said exploitation was so corrupt that Mr. Guzmán would never be caught. The arrest was made possible by the persistent determinations of Mexican marines and a small embedded team of American agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Marshals Service, reported Damien Cave in the Times. Mexico and the United States should not give up the effort to bring drug kingpins to justice even as the struggle gets more vicious, more drawn-out and more challenging.
There should be no misconceptions that one arrest means task accomplished. It was the United States that provided the greedy request for Mr. Guzmán’s merchandises, along with the currency and the weapons. Responsibility for the ongoing disaster that produced criminals like Mr. Guzmán belongs on both sides of our common border. We have much more to tackle to put a stop to all of the criminals in the drug world and if the United States continues to work with other countries, it could be very beneficial, in my opinion. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.