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What Drug and Alcohol Addiction Trends Are Seen in Washington State?

Last updated: Wednesday, 30, September 2020

The drug addiction trends in Washington state have changed many times over the years, some of the trends have become worse and many have held steady. For example, the drug-related overdose deaths involving pain medication, heroin, cocaine, tranquilizers, and other drugs drastically increased in the 2000s, and have has remained steady at around 14 to 15 deaths per 100,000 population. In the early 2000s, the state had higher rates of drug-induced deaths than the entire country has a whole. The healthy people 2020 goal in the state is to reduce the number of drug-related deaths to 11.3 per 100,000 population. Unfortunately, if present trends continue the state will not meet the 2020 goal.

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Different counties throughout the state also see varying trends in drug addiction. For example, between 2009 and 2011 a combined 17 counties had fewer than 20 drug-induced deaths. The drug-induced death rates have always varied widely among the different counties. Some see 9 deaths per 100,000 population whereas others have 25 deaths per 100,000 population. The trends with age and gender also change. The rate of drug-induced deaths was higher for males than females in all age groups. In fact, the men in Washington are 1.3 times more likely to die from drug abuse. The highest rates of death for both genders were among those between 45 and 54 years old. This was followed by similar amounts for those between 55 and 64 and those between 35 and 44 years old.

Families and individuals struggling with poverty has been a continuous problem in the state and is a contributing factor to drug addiction trends. The drug-related death rates were 2.5 times higher among those who were living in areas where around 20% or more of the residents are below the federal poverty line. Economical problems are often a driving factor for many people who choose to use drugs or alcohol. Drugs become a solution to deal with the financial problems people are facing. If you are struggling with drug addiction, there are drug treatment programs in the state of Washington that will help. Programs in the state do accept Medicaid and other types of health insurance. Many state-operated programs are low cost and help low-income families get the treatment they need.


Nickolaus Hayes - Author

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