Despite what crime shows depict, New York is less addicted to illegal substances than the other states except for one -- heroin.
This is according to the latest data from the Drug Testing Index of Quest Diagnostics. The laboratory obtained the information from analyzing thousands of drug test results of the U.S. workforce from 2007 to 2018.
How High Is New York?
New York's heroin positivity in 2018 was 0.026 percent, which was slightly higher than the national average of only 0.019 percent.
Worse, when compared to the 2013 data, it showed the national positivity rate for heroin dropped from 0.020 percent, but that of the Empire State went up from 0.024 percent.
The index didn't explain the reasons for the increase, but previous studies suggest an association between demographics and heroin use.
A 2014 research revealed heroin was beginning to become popular among white individuals with high income and living in the suburbs. A part of the reason is the increasing demand for painkillers within this population and the accessibility of the drugs.
In spite of its diversity, New York is home to more than 12 million whites. The average income, meanwhile, can be as much as $96,000 for married families.
The positivity rates were also the highest in the Bronx and Manhattan at 3.5 and 4.5 percent. Trailing were some parts of Queens and Staten Islands. Brooklyn and the rest of Queens had the lowest rates of heroin positivity at 0 to 2.5 percent.
It Doesn't Win All
Fortunately, New York doesn't dominate the other drug categories. The state's amphetamine positivity rate was only 0.68 percent compared to 1.1 percent national average. The state's rate was also lower than that of the nearby regions such as Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Cocaine positivity in 2018 was even lower at 0.25 percent, while the national average reached 0.28 percent. As expected, marijuana is a popular drug in the country at 2.3 percent workforce drug positivity rate. New York's rate, however, was below that at 2.1 percent.
Not A Cause For Celebration
Overall, the published visual data showed New York may not be as drug addicted as people believe. It doesn't mean the country is doing well in curbing illegal substance abuse. The drug positivity rate went up from 3.8 percent in 2007 to 4.4 percent in 2018.
At least one in every four reported drug overdoses in the country involved heroin. A popular opiate because of its quick highs, it can potentially lead to breathing problems, permanent brain damage, and even death.
Both cocaine and heroin can also become contaminants, exposing even non-drug users to these illegal substances.