Did you know that someone died almost every day from a drug overdose in Mississippi in 2017?

That’s right, there were 346 drug overdoses in 2017, an increase of 24% since 2011. In 2017, the drugs that caused the most deaths in Mississippi were:

  • Opioids, including fentanyl, heroin, and methadone
  • Benzodiazepines, including Xanax, Klonopin, and Librium
  • Methamphetamine, including crystal meth and powdered meth
  • Stimulants, such as Ritalin, Concerta, or Adderall
  • Cocaine, including powdered coke and crack cocaine

Prescription stimulant drugs like Ritalin have seen the most drastic rise in use here. In fact, overdose deaths from stimulants rose by over 3,000% between 2011 and 2017.

Learn more about these 5 top abused drugs in Mississippi:

#1: Opioids

In 2017, 52% of drug overdose deaths were caused by opioids. That includes:

  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone

Like many states, Mississippi has struggled with opioids since the early 2000s. Doctors overprescribed these potent painkillers to the tune of 93 prescriptions per 100 patients in 2017. That’s enough for almost everyone in the state to have their own opioid script!

180 Mississippi residents died from opioid overdoses in 2017, an increase of 4% over the year before.

#2: Benzodiazepines

In 2017, 20% of all drug overdoses were caused by benzodiazepines. That’s a total of 70 deaths.

These prescription drugs are used to treat anxiety disorders and seizures, but they have a strong potential for addiction. They cause a strong sense of euphoria and relaxation when taken at normal doses.

These drugs include:

  • Ativan
  • Diastat
  • Klonopin
  • Librium

Unfortunately, benzos are especially dangerous when mixed with the state’s other drug of choice… opioids.

Combining opioids and benzos can cause respiratory depression, where your breathing slows and even stops. This can cause death!

The number of benzo deaths in Mississippi increased by 67% between 2011 and 2017. Around 31% of those deaths involved multiple drugs, including benzos with opioids.

#3: Methamphetamine

Meth is Mississippi’s third drug of choice—tied with prescription stimulants. Together, these drugs make up 18% of all drug-related deaths in 2017.

That’s a 10% rise from the year before and a 3,000% rise since 2011!

Both crystal meth and powdered meth are commonly found in Mississippi. Crystal meth is the more popular form because of its low cost and high availability.

However, it’s also the most dangerous form for two reasons. First, crystal meth is cut with agents that can cause damage when injected. Second, crystal meth is always injected, and that’s the method most likely to cause an overdose fast.

#4: Prescription Stimulants

Ritalin, Concerta, and Adderall are all prescription stimulants with a strong street presence in the state.

These stimulant drugs are normally used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. However, their strong addiction potential means that scripts are often diverted to the streets.

In 2017, prescription stimulants and methamphetamine together made up 18% of drug-related overdose deaths. That’s 63 deaths total.

Like opioids and benzos, prescription stimulants are more likely to cause overdose or death if you mix them with other drugs. Poly-substance abuse makes up 31% of overdose deaths in Mississippi—caused by abusing multiple substances of once.

#5: Cocaine

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant drug that comes in at #5 in Mississippi. Both common forms are available in the state: crack cocaine and powdered coke.

Like meth and crystal meth, crack is the cheaper form of the drug, and therefore the more popular one. Because it’s less pure, it’s also more likely to cause a bad reaction or even an overdose death.

Over 10% of all drug overdose deaths were caused by cocaine or crack in 2017. That’s a total of 63 deaths in the state.

Get Treatment for Drug Abuse in Mississippi

Whether you’re struggling with one of the drugs on this list or not, there’s help available for you.

Drug abuse treatment can turn your life around. It can help you take back your time, energy, and relationships.

The right drug abuse treatment center tailors each treatment stay to your needs. You may encounter evidence-based treatments such as:

  1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This kind of individual therapy helps you learn your own behaviors, triggers, and thought processes. The more you understand about yourself, the easier it is to stay in recovery.
  2. Group therapy: Sharing experiences in groups can be powerful in healing. 12 Steps and Narcotics Anonymous are two common groups you may encounter. Other groups welcome people who are recovering from any kind of substance abuse.
  3. Medication-assisted treatment: Certain substances can cause a long-term withdrawal syndrome, including powerful cravings. MAT can help you quell and control those cravings, making recovery more manageable.

If you’re ready to take the first step into recovery, call Rehab Adviser today!


  1. Mississippi State Department of Health. (2017). Drug overdose deaths in Mississippi. Retrieved from https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/7980.pdf
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018, June 6). Prescription stimulants. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Methamphetamine. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Opioids. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids

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