North Carolina is known as the Tar Heel State and the Old North State, and you can’t deny its beauty thanks to its versatile geography that includes coastal plains and mountain ranges. With a strong history and coastal regions that are synonymous with golf and quality R&R, it’s no surprise why so many people choose to live or travel to North Carolina. However, with large cities such as Raleigh, Wilmington, Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro, the state sees its fair share of drug problems.

The River Source accepts patients from across the country, and we have worked with a handful of recovering addicts from the state of North Carolina. There are a variety of reasons why a broad range of illegal substances make it over the border and into the hands of young teens and adults in this state. Our team has also seen an increase in patients struggling with addiction to prescription painkillers, an issue that is growing in significance in this comfy southeastern locale.

Why Addiction is Prevalent in North Carolina

North Carolina may not have higher drug rates than the national average, but they’re not lower either. There are multiple factors that make North Carolina residents susceptible to a growing drug culture. First, there are over 50, 4-year colleges in the state, meaning that there is a large market for club drugs, such as LSD, GHB and MDMA.

Second, marijuana is plentiful in the state thanks to local and Mexican-based sources that bring the drug into the state. Another drug that is readily available is cocaine, as there are major highways where the drug is smuggled over the border and transported into the country. Cocaine can be found everywhere: rural towns and cities. Although heroin hasn’t been as popular in recent years, it’s expected to rise. There is a major prescription drug problem, and heroin follows shortly after in this pattern of drug abuse.

How Does North Carolina Compare to Other States?

Compared to the national average, North Carolina keeps right in line with the numbers. Approximately 8 percent of North Carolina residents reported using an illegal substance in the past month, compared to 8 percent of the national average. The rate of drug-induced deaths is also similar to the national average, with 1,125 people having died in the state in 2007 due to drugs or alcohol.

Marijuana is the most heavily cited drug, and one that lands many NC residents in a treatment facility such as The River Source. Yet we’ve seen many other problems stem from this state in recent years. Consider that there has been a 32 percent increase in meth lab seizure incidents from 2007 to 2009, with 153 incidents and 202 incidents, repectively. On the whole, North Carolina is a state that represents the nation at large.

A Close Look at the Numbers

Below is the percentage of the North Carolina population using and/or abusing drugs.

Illicit Drugs Age 18+
Past Month Illicit Drug Use 1 6.92%
Past Year Marijuana Use 8.93%
Past Month Marijuana Use 5.17%
Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs other Than Marijuana 1 3.48%
Past Year Cocaine Use 2.54%
Past Year Non-Medical Pain Reliever Use 4.49%
Alcohol Age 18+
Past Month Alcohol Use 45.34%
Past Month Binge Alcohol Use 2 21.80%
Past Year Dependence, Abuse & Treatment Age 18+
Illicit Drug Dependence 1 1.95%
Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse 1 2.67%
Alcohol Dependence 2.93%
Alcohol Dependence or Abuse 6.70%
Alcohol or Illict Dependence or Abuse 1 8.23%
Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use 1, 3 2.43%
Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use 3 6.44%
1 – Illicit Drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-like psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-like psychotherapeutics that are used non-medically

2 – Binge alcohol is defined as drinking five or more drinks in the same setting on at least one day in the past 30 days

3 – Needing But Not Receiving Treatment refers to the respondents needing treatment for illicit drug or alcohol use but not seeking specific treatment at a facility

4 – Major Depressive Episode is defined as having a period of at least 2 weeks where a person experienced a depressed state of mind or loss of interest in daily activities. They also have the symptoms listed in the DSM-IV

Source: National Survey on Drug Use & Health, 2004 and 2005, SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies

Serious Psychological Distress 10.88%

Why Seek Treatment in Arizona

Sometimes, the best choice in seeking treatment is the location. The River Source is open to all patients across the 50 states, and we have had many patients from North Carolina who found the peace and solace they needed to focus on their treatment and get sober when coming to our community. Removing distractions and negative influences is key in setting yourself up for success, and The River Source makes this possible. You can also enjoy favorable weather that uplifts the mind, body and spirit through sunny skies and eclectic panoramas that include mountain ranges and desert plains.