Iowa is known as one of the safest states in the country. More than anything, thinking of Iowa will make you think of corn. The state is famous for its flat fields of corn stretching as far as the eye can see, so it would surprise many that drug use is a problem in the state at all. Sadly, this is life in the state of Iowa today.

While the rate of drug use is much lower than the rest of the country, the fact that there is any drug use at all is still a matter for public concern and action. Like many other rural states, meth production and use has continued to be a thorn in the state’s side. As fast as meth labs can be torn down, more seem to spring back up. After several years of declining rates of meth use, production and consumption of meth is now going back up in Iowa.

Iowa Drug Facts and Statistics

The following are the primary drug facts and statistics in the state of Iowa:

  • While cocaine use has continued to drop in Iowa, as in much of the rest of the country, Iowa is still in the top ten of US states when it comes to cocaine use among residents between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • Iowa is also a top ten leader among overall illegal non-marijuana drug use.
  • The number of meth labs seized and destroyed by law enforcement increased from 236 in 2008 to 407 in 2011. This is a 72 percent increase over that time period. This shows that meth is still a rising problem in the state.
  • While the average number of Iowa residents losing their lives as a direct result of drug use is lower than the national average, it is still far too many at 213 in 2009.

Most Common Drugs of Abuse in Iowa

Over the years Iowa has struggled with a marijuana epidemic; though use of major drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are lower than the national averages. Like other states, Iowa is experiencing it’s own struggles with prescription drugs. A report from indicates that it is a growing issue with teens. Iowa statistics indicate that more people lose their lives in the state from prescription abuse than traffic related fatalities. The governor of the state says that 60% of these losses are from prescription drugs including prescription painkillers like Oxycontin, Vicodin and hydrocodone.

  • Heroin is at the very bottoms of the list in terms of what major drugs Iowa residents go into drug treatment for. While it’s a powerful drug, less than 5 percent of Iowa residents are getting treatment for it.
  • After dropping from a high of about 39 percent of all drug treatment admissions in 2005, meth dropped to just over 20 percent of admissions in 2008. Over the next several years, however, it has started climbing back up again.
  • Marijuana remains at the highest percentage of drug treatment admissions at almost 60 percent of admissions. This has dropped slightly, but it still remains the clear leader among drugs abused in the state.

Options for Drug Treatment in Iowa

Iowa has several different resources for help for anyone who is abusing drugs or alcohol. Ask the following questions when looking for treatment in the state:

  • What is the recovery rate of the program or success rate for sobriety?
  • What is the modality of treatment (traditional, holistic, dual diagnosis or other)?
  • What is the length of the program?
  • What credentials does the facility have?

Contact one of our professionals for more information on finding help in the state.

Resources & Sources in Iowa – Iowa Drug Control Update: – New Iowa Initiative to Curb Prescription Drug Abuse in Teens: