This Map Shows The Drugs People In Your State Are Searching For (IMAGES)

Internet search results might not be the best way to determine the amount of drugs that are being used, but they do provide insight into the relationship between drugs and culture.

The folks over at, a site that lists substance abuse recovery resources, have made an animated map that shows what types of illegal drugs people are searching for online. The map gives an interesting look into the shifting drug culture of the United States. For instance, searches for drugs like meth and various prescription drugs have increased rapidly over the past decade. Meth use has steadily been declining since around 2005 yet the map shows that at around 2005 searches for meth started increasing. Then in about 2008, they drop way down, not picking up again until 2012 (Breaking Bad influence?).


Map Courtesy:



Map Courtesy:



Map Courtesy:


Cocaine use has been plummeting since 2000. However, it has remained the number one search term in many states for the past decade. Overall, search terms for the drug have declined.
Prescription drugs are where online curiosity and real usage meet. Since 2009, search terms for drugs like Adderall and Xanax have shown a sharp increase. According to data from the University of Michigan, Adderall is the number one used prescription drug by High School Seniors. The number of people overdosing from prescription pills has tripled between 1990 and 2008.


Graph Courtesy:



Graph Courtesy: CDC


Searches for heroin remained stable over the past decade. It is the least searched for drug of the past decade out of the top five. Searches online have gone up for the drug in the past few years, so has usage as the supply of the drug has increased. This has made it more affordable.

The biggest change in culture in the United States when it comes to drugs has been the new positive attitude towards marijuana. It is also by far the most used (semi-)illegal drug there is. Marijuana is not featured on the map, so I made a map using Google Trends that show the popularity of searches related to the drug. Unsurprisingly, marijuana is searched for on the internet in Colorado more than any other state.


Map Made Via Google Trends


Culture is always changing, with the power of big data we now have the tools to analyze those changes faster than ever before.

Featured Image Credit: Map via