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What U.S. Cities Have The Worst Drug Problems?

Drug Problem

America continues to wage its war on drugs. Drug use and drug trafficking has come to be expected in large cities, but size doesn't matter when it comes to drugs. It is affecting both large and small American cities.

An example is Missoula, Montana, a beautiful western state surrounded by national forests with a population of around 67,000. According to a survey by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, this city had the highest rate of illicit drug use with 13.8 percent usage per household polled. They also have a huge methamphetamine problem with 50 percent of adult incarcerations due to meth.

Just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico is a little town called EspaƱola with a population of about 10,000. This little town ranks among the top ten in the nation for drug overdoses. They have 42.5 drug-related deaths per 100,000, compared with the national average of 7.3. In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that cocaine and crack are D.C.'s worst drug problems with the second ward having the highest rate of cocaine use of any area polled in the nation.

Chicago, New York and Boston have the highest herion-related hospital admissions in the country, and Baltimore and San Francisco have the highest numbers of heroin addicts and heroin-related crime of any cities in the nation, according to the DEA. New Orleans has one of the highest crack problems which has also led to their leading the nation in murder--95 per 100,000 people--that are known to be directly related to drugs.

Columbus, Ohio, rated by Forbes as #29 in the Top 50 Safest Cities to Live, in 2011 reached an all-time high in drug overdose deaths with 1,765 deaths. According to The Columbus Dispatch, one Ohioan died every five hours that year from a drug over-dose. In fact, since 1999, Columbus' drug overdose deaths have increased 440 percent. The drug problems appear to be pain killers such as OxyContin. From 1997 to 2010, prescriptions for OxyContin increased from 7 to 67 during this period, as reported by the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

To view the Forbes list, visit www.forbes.com/2009/01/20/narcotics-heroin-cocaine-biz-beltway-cz_nv_0121drugcities.html

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