clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This map shows how often your state binge drinks and gets high

Legal or not, America uses a lot of drugs.

This map, taken from a new series of animated maps compiled with federal survey data by, shows how frequently each state uses a drug in a 30-second time span:


Map by

The map is admittedly a bit busy and colorful, but the only reason that's the case is because America uses so many drugs regardless of their legality.

To some degree, the map is a reflection of the population in each state. California is the most populous state, so it's little surprise that there's at least one Californian using marijuana each second.

Still, it's interesting how states with similar populations compare. North Dakota and Wyoming, for instance, have comparably low frequencies of marijuana and illicit drug use, but North Dakota blinks once every 15 seconds for binge drinking while Wyoming doesn't blink at all during the map's 30-second time span.

It's also a bit surprising how often — every 12 seconds — the ambulance icon, which signifies an emergency visit caused by drugs, pops up. Given that excessive drinking causes 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults, it's worrying what that emergency visit could signify.

To view all the maps, including those for each category of drug use, visit's full breakdown here.

Further reading

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.