It may not be surprising to learn many residents of Missouri use and abuse drugs, but you may not know the severity of the issue. According to a new study, Missouri has the second highest drug-use rate, with the District of Columbia being number one. There is a dramatic difference in drug usage between Missouri and neighboring states. For example, Kansas ranks forty-eight out of fifty-one. 

The study also finds that Missouri ranks fourth in terms of drug arrests per capita. Here are some of the most common illicit substances in the state.

Methamphetamine

Meth is the biggest problem in Missouri, according to behavioral science expert Kristina Hannon. Her clinic, Family Guidance, provides treatment for meth four times more than for opioids. Sometimes, the clinic even treats more people for meth addiction than alcoholism. Meth is a highly addictive stimulant that users may snort, smoke, inject or swallow.

Opioids

While meth may be the main concern, the opioid epidemic is still a major issue in Missouri. Many people develop an addiction to prescription opioids because the substances relieve pain and cause euphoria. Additionally, the withdrawal symptoms can be intense. Common commercial names for opioids include Codeine, Duragesic, Norco, Vicodin, Demerol, OxyContin and Percocet. 

Marijuana

Another prevalent illegal substance in Missouri is cannabis. This substance can provide a pleasurable high. Some Missouri residents may be more likely to try marijuana now that it is legal for medical purposes, but the punishments can still be harsh for recreational use. Many kids as young as 12 years old are beginning to smoke marijuana more.

Heroin

Heroin is actually a type of opioid drug without any commercial uses. Those who smoke, snort or inject heroin may experience an addictive euphoria. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug abuse, it is important to seek medical and legal assistance. The health and legal repercussions of abusing drugs can be life-altering.