The 2010 movie Winter's Bone depicts a young girl looking for her bail-skipping, drug-dealing and drug-using father in the Ozarks. Through this movie, viewers learned about the harm that methamphetamine production and use causes not only the girl's family, but also the small town in Arkansas.

While methamphetamine is used throughout Arkansas, it is not the only drug that affects the state. Marijuana, crack cocaine, prescription drug and alcohol abuse also cause personal and financial damage to people living in Arkansas. Sometimes, these rates are significantly higher than those in other parts of the nation.

Youth Prescription Drug Abuse

According to the video “We Have A Problem" produced by the Arkansas Prevention Network and the state's Rotary Club, prescription drug abuse among young people is on the rise in Arkansas.

National statistics show that Arkansas is the number one state for teen prescription drug abuse. In 2009, 30 children and young adults in Arkansas died from prescription drug abuse.

The video explains that one in five teens now uses prescription drugs, and more than 70 percent of the drugs that youth use in Arkansas come from private homes. At times, youth use the same drugs that they steal; at other times, they sell the drugs for up to $40 a pill to their friends and schoolmates.

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School officials, doctors, and law enforcement now see younger children ages 12-14 beginning to use prescription drugs. When prescription drugs were first recognized as targets for abuse, older high school and college students were using the drugs.

Prescription drugs have surpassed methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana use in adolescents.

Drug Abuse Among Adults In Arkansas

Arkansas youth are not the only people affected by addiction in the state.

Since 2003, when the latest Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Reports data was ran, Arkansas has fallen behind the needs of addicts in the state. More people in Arkansas need, yet do not receive treatment for drug and alcohol abuse than any other group of people nationwide.

Traditionally, adults in Arkansas who have checked into rehabilitation centers or received counseling for drug and alcohol problems have suffered from alcohol abuse. Marijuana, cocaine and opiates were used at lower rates but in the early 2000s, methamphetamines nearly matched the use rates of cocaine, surpassing opiate use in the state.

County governments have begun to determine not only the rates of methamphetamine abuse but also the economic costs to the state. A recent national study shows that Arkansas workers who tested positive for methamphetamine use are 280 percent greater than the national average. This percentage is second in the nation, behind only Hawaii.

In another study conducted by Benton county officials, authorities estimated that the number of methamphetamine users in the Benton County workforce was 446, and that these employees cost their employers $21 million dollars each year in absenteeism and lost productivity.

Changes In The Abuse Of Other Drugs

Though methamphetamine use rates have leveled off, the state has found that more African Americans have started to use the drug in addition to the more familiar white, male user.

Cocaine levels have decreased and leveled off from the mid-1990s, and now cocaine abuse statistics put the state at similar use rates to the national average.

Addiction remains a problem in Arkansas; whether it is teens experimenting with alcohol and prescription drugs, or adults using methamphetamines. Overall, although resources for addicted residents are increasing, the state still battles a large population of addicts.