DRUGS OCTOBER 11, 2013
This week, the Huffington Post published a handy guide to the nation’s methiest states, with numbers of meth lab incidents in each state. Not surprisingly, Appalachia and the Ozarks scored quite highly. We decided to dig further. It turns out that the nation’s top five meth states are red states, and the top consumers of cocaine are predominantly blue states.
To find this, we turned the Huffington Post meth numbers into per capita rates. Our cocaine numbers come from a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration measuring the percentage of the population above the age of 12 who had used the drug in the previous year.
The top cocaine states all tend to vote Democratic in national elections. Richard Florida has established the correlation between cocaine (and marijuana) and liberal politics. He also found that those drugs are more prevalent in states with a large creative class. But meth is different: Its users seem to live in states representing an almost opposite demographic.