The American Heartland’s Declining Drug Abuse

Iowa with its rolling hills of fertile black dirt producing acre after acre of prairie grass, corn and a host of other products consumed by the rest of America has something to be proud these days. Regrettably these same farmlands were a hotbed of clandestine meth lab activity just a few years ago. Now, Iowa, The American Heartland, has something to be proud of when it comes to drug abuse statistics.

Iowa has long been known for its struggles with methamphetamine. In 2005 methamphetamine abuse and addiction were running rampant with wild abandon. Meth lab incidents reached staggering amounts totaling 1437 that year but things have since changed dramatically. Since the enactment of the Federal Combating Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA) and similar state laws to control the sale of pseudoephedrine (PSE) went into action meth lab incidents in Iowa plummeted to just 181 in 2007. 181 meth labs are still far too many but you have to admit the impressive improvement.

Obviously very creative drug abusers, dealers and meth “cooks” will find new ways of obtaining the key ingredient and in 2007 a new method called “smurfing” came into play. As a result from 2007-2009 meth lab incidents jumped 48%. Still yet Iowa’s meth related incidents remain relatively low in comparison to just a few years ago. Nationwide meth lab incidents increased 76% during that same two-year period.

Overall Iowa’s decreasing drug abuse statistics stand out from the rest of the country. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 8.02 % of American citizens abused an illicit drug in the past 30 days. This same report indicates just 4.08% of Iowa residents participated in past month drug abuse. Abuse of illicit drugs other than marijuana is also lower in Iowa as 1.81% of Iowa citizens are reported to have participated compared to the national average of 3.58%.

Prescription drug addiction is a major concern in the United States. To help combat the problem the Iowa Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP) went into effect in 2009. The new system enables physicians and pharmacists to access vital information concerning patient’s abuse and drug diversion of these controlled substances.

Iowa still has others areas of concern with marijuana being most widely abused drug and accounting for 7273 (26%) of the overall treatment admissions in 2009. Still yet these numbers compared to other states and the rest of the country as a whole are something to be proud of.