Is Iowa Struggling With Addiction?

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Iowa State is filled with culture, delicious food, and one of the highest numbers of motorcycle owners in the country. Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State–called so after the legendary character from Last of The Mohicans, a novel from the mind of the great American author James Fenimore Cooper. It’s home to the most prestigious writers’ workshop in the United States: The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Mouthwatering eats like Sour Cream Raisin Pie, Iowa Ham Balls, Scotcheroos, Maid Rite sandwiches, Steak de Burgo, taco pizza, snickers salad, and corn are in no short supply. Iowa also enjoys and prioritizes freedom of speech and artistic expression, being one of the states with the least amount of banned books

So how can it be that this affluent, highly respected state suffers from drug and alcohol addiction so acutely that it’s leading the nation in the number of alcohol-related deaths and alcohol use disorder (AUD)? Keep reading to learn more. 

Iowa State Leads The Nation in Alcoholism Statistics

In 2010, research showed that Iowa residents dished out more than 2 billion dollars annually in costs related to excessive drinking. These stats also include teens. It was estimated that adult residents of Iowa binge drink nearly twice a month, with top active drinkers totalling over four binge-drinking sessions a week. The following additional Iowa stats point toward the dire need for sound recovery centers for AUD and substance use disorders (SUDs), as Iowa residents also struggle with prescription pill abuse

  • Nearly 1,305 Iowans a year die from AUD
  • Increasing over 50% between 2015 and 2019, the 5-year average annual rate of AUD-related deaths per capita in Iowa will probably continue to rise unless patients receive effective treatment
  • For roughly every 2,500 people in Iowa above 18 years of age, one person passes away from AUD complications 
  • Most of the people who pass away from AUD are men
  • Most AUD deaths result from chronic, long-term AUD
  • Most AUD deaths occur in people 35 years of age or older 

These numbers beg the question of where the increase and prevalence in harmful drinking disorders are stemming from. Iowa’s Department of Public Health may hold the answer to the question. They point toward the model of alcohol sale currently present in the state: the sole wholesaler method. 

What is the Alcoholic Liquor Sole Wholesaler Method?

As you’ve read earlier, Iowa is a state that puts the freedom of its residents first. When it comes to alcohol sales and distribution, however, unbalanced economic freedom may extend too far. Essentially, being a sole wholesaler of alcoholic liquor in Iowa means that alcohol is extremely accessible to most populations. Holding the title of sole wholesaler means that everyone who legally sells liquor in the state of Iowa is entitled to sell their products to specific consumers in specific areas.

How Alcohol Use Disorder Harms Iowa Culture and Livelihood

The heavy financial damage that Iowans suffer when it comes to AUD mainly stems from how swiftly the disorder can rip someone out of the economy. If workers are too ill from their drinking, they cannot contribute to the economy. The emotional toll taken also deserves recognition, as families often see parents, children, and other family members suffer great pain and anguish when addiction enters the household. 

How Can We Solve the AUD Crisis in Iowa?

Many pieces of research point to education and scientifically sound treatment methods akin to those offered by St. Gregory Recovery Center. We prioritize the following approaches to get you and your family healthy, happy, and back to work:

Contact St. Gregory Recovery Center Today

We’re here to combat the AUD and SUD crises present in Iowa all day, every day. We strongly encourage you to contact us online or by phone with your questions and concerns about insurance and treatment options. What seems impossible can always be made possible when Iowa state comes together! Learn how to embrace sobriety safely, strongly, and with the support of the entire Iowan community when you choose St. Gregory Recovery Center. 

Our graduates tell their stories…

When first arriving at St. Gregory I had mixed feelings about the health and wellness workouts. I came in at 136 lbs and didn’t think it was possible to reach...
- Chris
The good life is not merely a life free from addictions, physical and/or psychological—addictions that usually are the outward manifestations of deeper problems—but a life lived in harmonious balance, free...
- Matt
I came to St. Gregory’s at my all-time worst—physically, emotionally, and mentally. Having gone through a bad rehab experience once before, I had been very reluctant in succumbing to that...
- CJ
No matter where I start my thought process when reflecting upon my time before, during and after St. Gregory’s, I always seem to end up in the same place in...
- Kaele


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