Being a mostly rural state in the Midwest, Idaho is rarely considered a high-trafficking drug state. But the illegal drug trade is active all across the country, and many Idaho citizens struggle with addiction to one or more illegal substances.

Fatality rates have risen in the past decade, especially from benzodiazepines, methadone and morphine. Fortunately, many rehabilitation centers are available to the public, and government programs are continuing to fight against the epidemic.

Popular Drugs

Two of the most commonly cited drugs in addiction treatment facilities are marijuana and methamphetamine. The use of these two drugs has been steadily increasing over the last several years. Falling prices of cocaine have led to a rise in the prevalence of the drug, with usage increases estimated at triple what they were just two years ago. In fact, many previous meth users are beginning to switch to cocaine, either because of methamphetamine's higher price or its lower availability.

Alcoholism is another rampant issue in Idaho. Like many states, alcohol dependency is one of the most popular causes for admission into rehab facilities. Although alcohol is not an illegal substance, excessive consumption can lead to an equally severe addiction. Over 1,200 residents were admitted into treatment for alcoholism in 2008, with another 1,800 residents seeking help for marijuana abuse.

Idaho's Youth

Underage abusers are a significant problem in Idaho. A number of factors, including the widespread availability of certain drugs in heavily populated areas, makes this possible. Of all rehab admissions for dependency on marijuana, almost 60 percent were reported to be between the ages of 12 and 20.

Idaho's government has responded to the trend by increasing educative programs in schools and recreational facilities, in order to inform children about the dangers of drug abuse before they begin experimenting with them.

Impact Of A Rural Area

One of Idaho's distinguishing characteristics is the widespread rural nature of its landscape. Rural areas across the nation have a tendency for higher prevalence and addiction rates of methamphetamine, likely due to the dangerous nature of home meth production—rural areas have more ventilation for deadly fumes, and are less conspicuous than are their urban counterparts.

Idaho also contains an area known as “Treasure Valley," where the majority of drug-related incidents occur. This region, containing over a third of Idaho's entire population, ranges from the western Oregon border to Boise, the state's capital. The region includes Caldwell, Nampa and Meridian, and is the primary focus of many rehabilitation programs and law enforcement target zones.

Addiction Treatment Options

Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare offers a number of supportive programs and services that can help lead to recovery from drug addiction. Rehabilitation facilities, some available at lower cost to qualifying residents, are spread throughout each of Idaho's seven main regions.

The state also offers funding for several peripheral services, which include transportation, case management, child care, drug testing, adult staffed safe and sober housing and family/marital/life skill education services for individuals struggling with addiction.