Hearing about illegal drug abuse isn’t uncommon in the United States, but some states have it worse than others. Indiana is one of them. The Hoosier State has a massive drug problem that keeps the public health and the addiction issue front and center.

According to a study released by WalletHub in 2019, Indiana ranks 7th among the worst to struggle with substance abuse in the country. The state was also topped for meth-lab incidents in 2015 and opioid painkillers prescriptions per 100 people from 2016-2019.

These figures are undoubtedly alarming. While meth and prescription opioid abuse are on the rise, other drugs are also overdosing their way into the system.

Here are the 5 most abused drugs in Indiana:

1. Methamphetamine (Meth)

The state of Indiana is grappling with the meth epidemic. The spike in meth users since 2013 is a matter of concern, especially after record seizures of hodgepodge labs in the past decade. A majority of meth comes from other countries.

Due to its highway networks, Indiana is a high trafficking area. It further intensifies drug abuse here.

  • Since 2015, the number of charges on account of meth possession risen by 170%.
  • From 2003 to 2015, the number of Indiana high school students having tried meth at least once in their lives increased from 2.9% to 8.2%.
  • Bartholomew, Wayne, and Marion counties are hit the worst because it’s cheap, readily available, and more potent than other drugs. The prices plummeted from $850 per ounce to $270 per ounce in 2016.

2. Prescription Opioids

Though there’s an uptick in meth use across Indiana, prescription opioids are still more deadly. More Hoosiers die from opioid overdose than from traffic or gun incidents. In fact, nearly one in every 20 people in the state admits the misuse of opioids.

These deaths may be because of a higher number of opioid painkiller prescriptions in the state. In 2017 alone, there were 74.2 opioid prescriptions per 100 people, compared to the national average of 58.7 prescriptions.

See these stats of substance abuse in Indiana to know more about opioid scourge below:

  • Nearly 8 out of 10 people in the state get opioids from a relative or friend.
  • From 2016 to 2017, the figures of drug overdose deaths rose by 22.5% here with opioids being the leading cause in a majority of cases. 1852 deaths were registered due to drug abuse in 2017.
  • Non-medical pain reliever use over the past month was 9.5% for 18 to 25-year-olds.

3. Marijuana

Marijuana has been the most common drug in Indiana for many years. In 2016, nearly 21% of the total substance abuse treatment admissions were due to the singular use of marijuana.

Though medical marijuana isn’t legal in the state, easy imports and low costs have stoked its abuse.

Here are some stats that depict the severity of marijuana epidemic in Indiana:

  • 19.6% of college students in the state reported the current use of marijuana in 2016, while the highest number of ongoing use was at 20.7% in the age groups 18-25-year-olds.
  • 8.7% of Hoosiers aged 12 years and older used it in the past month, while 6% of Indiana youth used it for the first time in 2016.

4. Heroin

The prevalence of heroin has grown at epic proportions in the past decade. It may be due to increased trafficking across the borders or increased availability of prescription drugs. Heroin isn’t only potent but also prone to tampering.

The rate of heroin users above 18 years of age was 0.47% in 2016-17, which was more than the national average of 0.36% in the same years.

Here are some more startling facts about the most abused drug in Indiana:

  • Youth consumption is significantly higher, with 2.4% of high school students admitting usage once in their life. About 0.2% of college students used heroin in the past month.
  • In 2014, there were 15.9% treatment admissions due to heroin abuse, and nearly 239 people died due to its overdose in 2015.

5. Alcohol

While rates of binge drinking are moving toward improvement in the state, alcohol is still a leading cause of substance use disorder in Indiana. The young population aged 18 to 25 years is the worst offender, with 59.7% reported cases of current use.

Alcohol-related issues are consistently on the rise in Lake, Marion, and Clark counties. Even if the numbers in Indiana are almost at par with the national averages, the matter needs serious contemplation. Check out some Indiana alcohol statistics:

  •  50.4% of Hoosiers aged 12 and above reported alcohol consumption in the past month during 2016.
  • Nearly 5.9% of these people had alcohol-related disorders leading to admissions.
  • Total of 6571 people lost their lives due to alcohol-induced causes from 2000-2015 in Indiana.

Rediscover the Joy in Life in Indiana with Immediate Treatment

Addiction is a chronic disease that strips away all the joy in life. By choosing the right treatment at a rehab center near you, you can beat this disease with dignity.

Call your local treatment center today and begin your journey toward recovery. You can turn your life around and start living a healthy, sober life.


  1. http://www.therepublic.com
  2. https://www.indystar.com
  3. https://www.wbaa.org
  4. https://www.nwitimes.com
  5. https://opioid.amfar.org
  6. https://www.inphilanthropy.org
  7. https://www.nwitimes.com

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