NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Louisiana is one of the top five states where people are more likely to use drugs or medications on a daily basis that alter their mood or help them relax, according to a new Gallup poll.
The data is based on interviews with at least 450 residents in each state from January to December 2014. The drugs could include recreational and prescription drugs, alcohol or nicotine.
Nearly 23% of people surveyed in Louisiana said they use mind altering drugs almost every day. Nationally, that number is near 19%.
Southern states make up six of the top 10 drug use states. More than one in five residents of Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi and Missouri report using drugs or medications on a near daily basis to alter their mood.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found southern states have the highest rates for prescribing narcotic painkillers. Southern states also have the most frequent cigarette smokers, according to Gallup-Healthways research.
The study also found that people who use drugs almost every day have lower well-being.
The majority of Americans, around 62%, say they never use drugs.
States with the highest drug/medication use:
1. West Virginia
2. Rhode Island
6. South Carolina
The top three states with the lowest drug use are: