When people think of the most commonly abused recreational drugs in the U.S., they tend to think of highly addictive substances like heroin or cocaine. But the most frequently abused recreational drug is something far more commonplace: alcohol.
In 2013, 17.3 million Americans were dependent on or abused alcohol. Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making it one of the leading preventable cause of death in America.
While alcohol dependence is an issue throughout the country, some states have higher rates than others. HealthGrove, a health data site by Graphiq, looked at rates of alcohol dependence across the country. Using data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HealthGrove ranked each state by the percentage of its population over the age of 12 who were dependent on alcohol in 2014 (the most recent year available).
As with drug dependence, Western states dominate the ranking, occupying six of the top 10 spots. Conversely, Southern states generally have the lowest rates of alcohol dependence. Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia are all in the bottom 10.
Note: Any ties are due to rounding.