Nebraska is a mostly rural state. Farms and fields dominate the landscape. But just because there aren’t sprawling metropolitan areas doesn’t keep Nebraska from having its issues with drugs and alcohol.

In 2018, treatment admissions for the state of Nebraska topped 13,400—and it is likely that thousands more Nebraskans suffer from substance abuse issues without seeking treatment.

Some substances are far more commonly abused in Nebraska than others. Like many other rural areas, the state has been especially hard hit by alcohol dependency and meth addiction.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 most abused drugs for the state of Nebraska right now:

#1: Alcohol

We tend to forget that alcohol is a dangerous drug, and that is probably a big part of the reason that it is so widely abused. In Nebraska, alcohol abuse is a huge problem.

From car accidents, to domestic violence, to poisoning, alcohol can lead to tragedy in a number of different ways. In many states, alcohol leads to more deaths than any other substance.

Let’s take a look at the stats for alcohol abuse in Nebraska:

  • Alcohol was the primary drug of abuse for over 48% of people who were admitted to substance abuse treatment centers in Nebraska in 2018.
  • Nebraska is the nation’s “9th drunkest state”, according to a recent survey. The survey used data about how many people in each state engage in binge drinking and heavy drinking.
  • More than 1 in 5 adults in Nebraska drink enough to be called ‘excessive drinkers’.
  • Far more men abuse alcohol in Nebraska than women. Of the thousands of people who got treatment for alcohol abuse in the state, over 75% were men.

#2: Amphetamines

In recent years, meth has swept across the nation, leaving entire areas of the country totally devastated. Unfortunately, Nebraska has not been spared from the meth crisis. Like many other rural areas, NE has high rates of meth abuse.

Meth is part of the amphetamine class of drugs, which also includes Ritalin and Adderall – both of which are drugs used to treat ADHD.

Here are some stats about amphetamine abuse in Nebraska:

  • More than 27% of the state’s treatment admissions in 2018 were due to amphetamine abuse.
  • Although meth has fallen out of the news spotlight, it is still making headlines in Nebraska. More than 5 times as many people were arrested for meth charges last year in NE as in 2007, when the drug was making headlines around the country.
  • In 2015, more people needed treatment for meth abuse in NE than in any previous year back to 2000.

#3: Marijuana

States across the country are making marijuana legal. But just because using pot is becoming more common does not mean that it is safe. Like alcohol, which is legal nationwide, marijuana poses many problems to users.

Contrary to popular belief, pot can be addictive. In Nebraska, cannabis is a big issue. Just take a look at the state’s stats to learn more:

  • 1,331 Nebraskans got substance abuse treatment because of their pot problems in 2018. This accounts for about 10% of all treatment admissions for the state.
  • Men seem to be using pot more than women in Nebraska; about two-thirds of those who sought treatment for pot-related reasons in the state were men.
  • People aged 21-30 were the most likely to need help with marijuana abuse in NE.

#4: Opiates

Although the opioid crisis has not been as bad in Nebraska as it has in some other areas, the state is still feeling its effects. Remember, opioids include both pain pills, as well as street drugs such as heroin.

Let’s check out Nebraska’s opioid stats:

  • In 2017, 183 people died from drug overdoses. The majority of these deaths were caused by opioid drugs.
  • The federal government just sent $6.5 million to Nebraska to help the state fight the opioid crisis. This shows how big of an impact these drugs are having in NE.
  • Heroin and other opiates were abused more heavily by men in NE, with around 65% of treatment admissions for these drugs being male.

#5: Cocaine

Like meth, cocaine (including crack) is a drug that many people believe has come and gone. But in many places, crack and cocaine still cause huge problems. About 200 people sought treatment for crack and cocaine abuse in NE in 2018.

Let’s check out some other stats and stories about cocaine in NE:

  • Unlike many other drugs, the use of which is dominated by men, cocaine appears to affect both men and women in NE equally.
  • A Nebraska lawyer was recently accused of accepting cocaine instead of payment from a client.

Get Treatment for Drug Abuse in Nebraska

Are you struggling with drug abuse? You don’t have to go through this alone. If you or someone you love is one of the thousands of people in Nebraska with substance abuse issues, call Rehab Adviser today.

They can help you come up with a plan that is just right for you. One call could turn your life around.


  1. The Associated Press. (2019, October 8). Nebraska gets $6.5M in grants to fight opioid abuse. Retrieved from
  2. DASIS Quick Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. Martha Stoddard and Natalia Alamdari / World-Herald Bureau. (2019, October 16). As nation faces opioid epidemic, in Nebraska and Iowa, meth is still the ‘No. 1 threat’. Retrieved from
  4. Press, A. (n.d.). Nebraska lawyer accused of accepting cocaine in lieu of fees. Retrieved from
  5. Press Release. (n.d.). New analysis shows Nebraska is america’s 9th drunkest state. Retrieved from

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