A study recently ranked all 50 states in the U.S. according to the drug problems of the area. The study ranks Minnesota as the least problematic state in the country when it comes to drugs.

The study compared each state on 22 data points measured on a 100-point scale. How did Minnesota achieve such a favorable score?

Comparing the data

The study collects data from several different agencies, including the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. The study sifts data into three broad categories:

  • Drug Use & Addiction: This category measures drug use in the state. The study examines teenage drug use and distribution, adult drug use and distribution, opioid pain reliever prescriptions, drug laboratories, and overdose deaths.
  • Law Enforcement: Drug arrests, prescription drug monitoring laws and employee drug testing laws all fall into this category.
  • Drug Health Issues & Rehab: This catch-all category gathers a few data points, including the share of adults unable to receive drug treatment, the number of substance abuse treatment facilities in the state, the number of substance abuse counselors per capita, and the availability of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

The study assigns each item a weighted point value then totals those points to calculate a state’s final score. Minnesota totaled 26.11 out of 100, firmly in 51st place when it comes to drug problems. Missouri took the top spot at 58.96, boosted by claiming the highest score in the Law Enforcement category.

Room for improvement

This study does not mean that Minnesota is without its drug problems. A total of 383 people died of a drug overdose involving opioids in 2018. Though this marks a decline from the 422 deaths in 2017, Native Americans and black residents remain overrepresented in these numbers.

Legal help for drug charges

Those facing drug charges have found success working with a local attorney familiar with Minnesota drug crimes. An attorney can assess the charges, build a defense and work with authorities to secure rehabilitation and treatment services.