According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2003), more than 37% of the West Virginia population (aged 12 or older) reported the past month use of alcohol. More than 18% of the people in the age group of 12-17 years and more than 53% in the age group of 18-25 years reported using alcohol in the past month. Among the people of 26 years or older the rate is around 37%.
In the survey, more than 19% of the West Virginia people showed binge alcohol use and around 43% reported perceptions of great risk of having five or more drinks of an alcoholic beverage once or twice a week. In the age group of 12-17, past month binge alcohol use is more than 13%. In the state, 6.52% of the total population showed alcohol dependence or abuse in past year.
Powder and crack forms of cocaine are extensively available and commonly abused in the state of West Virginia. Low and low-middle income individuals are the main abusers of crack. Heroin availability and abuse are very limited in the state. Small groups of long-term heroin addicts are characteristic of this state. They depend on each other to obtain heroin from secondary sources in Philadelphia and Baltimore.
The most extensively available and frequently abused drug in West Virginia is marijuana. Imported as well as domestically produced marijuana pose serious drug threats to the state. The state is considered a source area for domestic marijuana.
Methamphetamine is a growing drug threat to West Virginia. Demand for MDMA in the state has increased considerably. But its abuse remains confined to Morgantown. The demand for MDMA in college towns is very high.
Diversion and abuse of OxyContin remains a problem for West Virginia. The state was one of the first areas in the United States to experience widely publicized problems with this drug. Diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical drugs has always been a concern in the state, especially in the southern region.
According to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.93% of West Virginia citizens reported past year dependence on illicit drugs. A 2003 survey of West Virginia high school students indicate that 43.7% reported trying marijuana at least once in their lifetime.
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