Marijuana Use in Rural Areas

Marijuana Use in Rural Areas

Many people believe the stereotype that drug abuse only occurs in urban areas. With larger populations, these areas indeed provide more access to drugs and alcohol, and peer pressure is quite strong in urban areas. However, drug use has no limitations, so it crosses economic, geographic, cultural and social boundaries. While drug use is prominent in large cities, illicit drug use is increasing in all areas of the United States, including rural areas.

The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that from 2007 to 2011, the number of marijuana users in the US had increased from about 14.4 to 18.1 million individuals. Other illicit drug use has remained mostly unchanged, and cocaine and methamphetamine use has even declined in the four-year period. Unfortunately, marijuana use is still on the rise. When surveying the geographic factors behind marijuana use, rates of illicit use were 7.2% in nonmetropolitan areas, 8.7% in small metropolitan areas and 9.2% in large metropolitan areas. These numbers are relatively close, showing that illicit drug use is a problem in all geographic regions. Marijuana use is a popular drug of choice for people in rural areas, because it is generally grown in rural lands where it will not be easily detected.

How Marijuana Use Varies Between Urban and Rural Communities

While illicit marijuana use has few geographic limitations, smaller, rural communities have fewer resources to deal with it. In 2009 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported on rehab admissions between rural and urban areas. Rural substance abusers are more likely to attend treatment by the criminal justice system, where urban users are more likely to seek treatment voluntarily. In addition, rural admissions tend to be younger, less racially diverse and employed. However, these demographics only represent people who are admitted to treatment centers, not those who have yet to seek help.

What to take from these studies is that marijuana abuse happens everywhere, and all communities must make strong efforts to prevent and treat substance abuse, especially with the current wave of legalization efforts. Even if marijuana becomes a legal drug, the risk of disease, addiction and death still remain, and rural marijuana users will be even more unlikely to seek treatment help.

Help Finding Marijuana Addiction Treatment

If you need help finding treatment for marijuana abuse, then please call our toll-free helpline today. Our addiction counselors are available 24 hours a day to assist you in any way they can. We have connections to great recovery services across the nation and can help you find the ones that will work for you. Get help today to help yourself.