Nearly 19 percent of Americans take drugs daily, but what about alcohol and nicotine?

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Highest/Lowest Mood Altering Drug Use by State
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Nearly 19 percent of Americans take drugs daily, but what about alcohol and nicotine?

50. Alaska

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 13.5

Photo: Zoonar/N.Okhitin via Getty Images 

49. Wyoming

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 15.5

Photo: Space Images via Getty Images 

48. California

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 15.8

Photo: Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images 

47. Illinois

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 16.0

Photo: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm

46. North Dakota

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 16.4

Photo: Shutterstock

45. New Jersey

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 16.5

Photo: Shutterstock

43. Texas

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 16.7

Photo: Shutterstock

44. Colorado

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 16.7

Photo: Shutterstock

42. Utah

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 16.8

Photo: Shutterstock

41. Maryland

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.3

Photo: Shutterstock

40. Hawaii

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.3

Photo: Shutterstock

39. South Dakota

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.4

Photo: Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL/Flickr

38. New York

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.4

photo: Shutterstock

37. Minnesota

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.5

photo: anthonylibrarian/Flickr

36. Washington

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.6

photo: Shutterstock

35. Arizona

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.6

photo: TaylorB90/Flickr

34. Virginia

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.7

photo: Shutterstock

33. Montana

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 17.7

photo: J.Stephen Conn/Flickr

32. New Hampshire

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 18.1

photo: Shutterstock

31. Maine

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 18.1

photo: Shutterstock

30. Connecticuit

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 18.2

photo: Shutterstock

29. Nebraska

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 18.3

photo: Shutterstock

28. New Mexico

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 18.4

photo: Shutterstock

27. Kansas

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 18.4

photo: Shutterstock

26. Delaware

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 18.4

photo: Shutterstock

25. Georgia

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 18.7

photo: Shutterstock

24. Idaho

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 19.0

photo: Shutterstock

23. Nevada

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 19.1

photo: Shutterstock

22. North Carolina

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 19.1

photo: Getty Images

21. Iowa

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 19.4

photo: yorkfoto

20. Massachusetts

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 19.5

photo: Shutterstock

19. Florida

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 19.6

photo: Shutterstock

18. Wisconsin

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 20.0

photo: Kubrak78

17. Vermont

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 20.1

photo: Shutterstock

16. Ohio

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 21.3

photo: Shutterstock

15. Tennessee

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 21.5

photo: Shutterstock

14. Oklahoma

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 21.5

photo: Shutterstock

13. Michigan

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 21.5

photo: Shutterstock

12.Pennsylvania

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 21.6

photo: Henryk Sadura

11. Arkansas

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 21.6

photo: yorkfoto

10. Oregon

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 21.9

Photo: Shutterstock

9. Indiana

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 22.1

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Missouri

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 22.2

Photo: Shutterstock

7. Mississippi

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 22.3

Photo: Medioimages/Photodisc via Getty Images

6. South Carolina

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 22.8

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Louisiana

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 22.9

Photo: Shutterstock

4. Alabama

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 24.2

Photo: Dennis Macdonald via Getty Images

3. Kentucky

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 24.5

Photo: Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images

2. Rhode Island 

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 25.9

Photo: Shutterstock

1. West Virginia 

% who say they use drugs almost every day: 28.1

Photo: dk_photos via Getty Images 

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By ISABELLE CHAPMAN

Almost one in five Americans report nearly daily use of a mood-altering substance, according to a new study by Gallup. Out of the top ten states with the highest self-reported drug use, seven are below the Mason-Dixon line, and the study also found that those who report using drugs almost every day have a lower well-being index than those who say they "sometimes," "rarely" or "never" use mood-altering drugs or medications.

To find out where your state ranks in self-reported drug use, check out the gallery above.

The poll, conducted during 2014, asked subjects over the phone: "How often do you use drugs or medications, including prescription drugs, which affect your mood and help you relax -- almost every day, sometimes, rarely or never?" The question did not specify whether responders should include alcohol and nicotine in their answers or not.

West Virginia had the highest drug use according to the poll -- 28.1 percent of those questioned said they used drugs "almost every day," with Rhode Island in second with 25.9 percent and Kentucky in third at 24.5 percent.

A New Approach To The War On Drugs


These states contrast Alaska, which at 13.5 percent, has the lowest drug/medication use, according to the survey.

However, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Alaska has one of the highest per capita alcohol consumption rates in the nation with roughly 14 percent of the population claiming alcohol dependence or abuse, which according to another Gallup survey, is twice the national average.

These numbers don't phase Dan Witters, the research director of the Gallup-Healthways well-being index.

"Could people be underreporting? Yeah," Witters told AOL. "If we instructed respondents to include alcohol in nicotine we would see Americans using drugs at a higher level."

Witters went on to say that while the state percentages would increase if nicotine and alcohol were specifically included in the question, the results would also be less polarizing: "The bible belt -- that's where you see the lowest level of alcohol consumption and they have the highest number of self-reported drug use, and the same is true with plain and mountain states. Low self-reported drug use, but alcohol consumption is higher."

However, despite any issues that go along with self-reporting use of mood-altering medications, Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow and research coordinator at the American Enterprise Institute said the poll -- which was conducted over the course of 2014 with a random sample of over 176,000 adults living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia -- should not be ignored.

"This poll was conducted over a pretty long time frame -- an entire year -- and it's a very large sample," Bowman said. "We need to pay attention to this."

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