Idaho is commonly known as the potato state, lending an image of a dull and boring backwater part of the country. In truth, it’s one of the most ruggedly beautiful states in the country, with thousands of square miles of mountains, lakes and rivers. Despite all this natural beauty, there are problems brewing is this northwestern corner of the country.

The state of Idaho is currently in the top ten states for several categories of drug use. This may be due to the state of education in Idaho—if children are not being educated on the dangers of drugs, there is no good reason to not use them.

Another suggested reason for drug use rates in Idaho may have something to do with young people’s perception of their environment. Despite the natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor activities in a state like Idaho, many young people report that boredom is one of their main reasons for starting to use drugs.

Facts & Information on Drug Use in Idaho 

Reports from the Idaho Statesman reports that Idaho has struggling with an ongoing problem with prescription drug mis-use. In fact the state ranks in the top 10 in the United States with averages of 39% of citizens who have misused these drugs. Here are the specifics on drug use in Idaho:

  • Non-medical use of painkillers is a persistent problem in the state. Idaho is in the top ten of states in the number of people over the age of 12 abusing these pills.
  • 9.56 percent of Idaho citizens report that they’ve used illegal drugs in the past month. This is higher than the national average of 8.82 percent of citizens.
  • The number of Idaho residents that die as a direct effect of their drug use is below the national average, but it is still cause for concern. As of 2009, 181 people died from using drugs.

Idaho Drugs of Abuse

The following are the most abused drugs in the state:

  • Cocaine and crack use are almost non-existent in the state, statistically speaking. They are only responsible for 1 to 2 percent of all drug treatment admissions.
  • Heroin is also only responsible for a few percentage points of all admissions. These harder drugs have not made many inroads into the state and are not the drug of choice for most drug users.
  • Prescription pain drugs are starting to increase in amount of abuse in Idaho. After being statistically insignificant for many years, they are now responsible for approximately 10 percent of all treatment admissions.
  • Stimulants such as meth have long been some of the most-used drugs in the state, at one time responsible for 60 percent of admissions, In the last several years, they have dropped off to less than 40 percent.
  • Marijuana has climbed up to being responsible for almost 50 percent of drug treatment admissions. It is now the most popular drug in the state by that yardstick.

Idaho Drug Treatment Options

Due to the fact that Idaho has many rural areas, there are some options for drug treatment in the state. Some of the programs in Idaho include:

  • Residential
  • Outpatient
  • 12 step
  • Aftercare
  • Halfway Houses
  • Religious treatment
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Holistic treatment.

Finding the right program takes a tremendous amount of research and a person must look at the credentials, reviews of the facility, success for long-term recovery and treatment modality.  In many cases long term, residential treatment is most highly recommended.

Idaho Drug Treatment Resources & Information – Idaho Drug Control Update: