Top 5 Cities With the Most Drug Abuse Problems

What are the top 5 Cities with the most drug abuse problems? When asking what the top five cities within the United States with the most drug abuse problems are, it’s probably easier to ask which aren’t. Drug deaths continue to exponentially increase and abuse of legally produced medications like Percocet, Oxycontin and Xanax has risen to compete with cocaine, heroin and marijuana abuse. Albuquerque, New Mexico has been sensationalized as a meth mecca thanks to the groundbreaking popular cable drama Breaking Bad, but the real statistics are grimmer. Here are the top five American cities with the largest drug problems today.

Baltimore, Maryland

Once a major up-and-comer, according to the DEA, Baltimore now rates statistically higher against any other American city in its resident abusers of heroin and the crimes they commit. That means more heroin addicts and more isolated incidences of heroin-linked crimes. When a city like Baltimore gets its bearings in such a way, proponents of the illegal drug trade intensify their efforts to maintain its status. This poses a problem for the authorities and ordinary citizens alike.

Española, New Mexico

With a populace that consists primarily of around 10,000 Hispanics, poverty-addled Española is a small place with a large problem that is inversely proportional to its heroin abuse. The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s data reveals no fewer than 43 deaths out of 100,000 in the agricultural district that barely rates as a city.

The city’s proximity to Juarez, Mexico only exacerbates the problem as drugs continue to flow from there like a river. The state of New Mexico has taken various measures to combat the situation, including open widespread distribution of an anti-narcotic called Narcan which is administered to treat and reverse overdoses. The state has also taken to waiving prosecution of any citizen who seeks help for an overdose victim.

Drug Abuse Sign
Drug Abuse

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans has seen a thirty percent increase in twelve months of drug-connected homicides. Oxycontin reigns as the principally desired drug among citizen addicts of New Orleans. Marijuana continues to maintain a degree of popularity. The same goes for crack and heroin. The gang problem in New Orleans also contributes to widespread drug use as gang violence and the trade are perpetually linked.

In the first half of 2012, a committee formed that calls itself the Strategic Planning Initiative of the Greater New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition. Its mission is one as complex as its name. The Initiative reported grave data that includes but is not limited to:

• 75% of subject arrests being under the influence of some type of illegal substance
• Over 5% of high school sophomores are drug sellers
• Drug use rates at double the national average

San Francisco, California

The popular Northern California Bay city, despite its well-known high cost of living, has more habitual drug users than any other metro, SAMSHA reports. With over 800 directly drug-related emergency room visits of every 100,000, San Francisco approaches the one percent factor. The city continues to contend with epidemic levels of prescription drug, cocaine and heroin use for decades, right alongside its similarly drug-infested neighbor, Oakland.

Prescription drugs such as Oxycodone are readily available for no cost because addicts recover them from garbage bins after the pills are thrown out carelessly. Improper disposal of prescription meds defies regulation because it is a personal responsibility issue. The indirect enabling of more drug abuse use that way is a direct matter the city is so far unable to control.

Washington, D.C.

Baltimore’s neighbor Washington D.C. is a long-recognized hub of the coke trade. Cocaine abuse usually rates first or second there of all of America’s cities in frequent polls. Forbes reported D.C. was polled for the highest cocaine use of the country in its 2nd Ward. Within the last seven years, user arrests showed a full third of detainees had cocaine in their systems in any given year.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment for drug abuse is recommended because it comes with a set of benefits that will maximize the addict’s recovery program while a patient. These include in-house boarding and group therapy, closely monitored detox and one-on-one counseling.


While these cities vie for the top five positions, most if not all of America’s major cities have the same problems to some degree. In Staten Island, New York, for example, there is one prescription drug-related resident homicide per two-week interval. Missoula, Montana is another city that migrates in and out of the top ranking cities for use of illicit substances. Those that don’t reflect large levels of drug abuse face another dilemma with alcohol. Sadly, it all adds up to a war that it appears this great country is poised to lose.

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