Substance Abuse and Addiction in Iowa

Home | Substance Abuse and Addiction in Iowa

Iowa is one of the most proactive states in the country when it comes to preventing and treating addiction. For most of its residents, Iowa recognizes and readily provides substance abuse treatment and support in over 125 treatment centers. But just because Iowa reports lower substance abuse rates than other states does not mean that Iowans don’t suffer from addiction. Iowa residents struggle primarily with the following substances:

  • Alcohol (Iowa has one of the highest binge-drinking rates among young people)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana and other THC products–especially among younger demographics (marijuana is still illegal in Iowa)

Emerging Dangerous Substances in Iowa

Ever heard of Kratom? It’s a drug that the state of Iowa reported on in 2020. Native to Southeastern Asia, the plant has a stimulant effect in low doses and a sedative, addictive effect in high doses. Leaves can be crushed and brewed into tea, smoked, or put into capsules and eaten. In 2017, at least one death due to Kratom overdose was reported. Bodily Kratom effects include:

  • Nausea, itching, and sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation, increased urination, tachycardia
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite

Substance Abuse Data For The U.S.

Data show that the way that Americans consume drugs, as well as the types of drugs that they’re consuming, have varied substantially since 2018. Especially among adolescents, medical professionals have seen notable decreases in the use of these specific drugs:

  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Vaping Nicotine
  • Illicit drugs, such as cocaine, hallucinogens, and nonmedical use of amphetamines, tranquilizers, and prescription opioids

This is good news, considering a 2017 report showed that nearly 20 million Americans battled with addiction. That same year, other sources gathered that the United States spent upwards of $740 billion to manage and treat substance use disorders among its citizens. By 2020, the various commonly abused substances across the United States included:

  • Alcohol, cigarettes, and smokeless forms of tobacco
  • Cocaine and crack cocaine
  • Hallucinogens, LSD, and marijuana
  • MDMA, methamphetamine, and PCP
  • Tranquilizers and stimulants
  • Sedatives, pain killers, and inhalants

Unfortunately, it’s not clear yet in 2022 if there’s been a change in what medical professionals saw as a notable rise in abuse of the deadly substance Fentanyl in 2018. Fentanyl is considered lethal precisely because among the drug overdose deaths recorded in 2018 that mentioned at least one specific drug, the 10 most frequently mentioned drugs included, in order of prevalence:

    • Fentanyl
    • Heroin, morphine, and methadone
    • Hydrocodone
    • Oxycodone, alprazolam, diazepam
    • Cocaine
    • Methamphetamine (meth)

We still find these substances abused in every city in every state across the country, including Iowa.

Signs of Dependency and Addiction

People with a family history of drug and alcohol abuse face higher probabilities of addictions. Substance abuse disorders often also have roots in negative environments, such as unstable or physically and emotionally abusive homes.

If you suspect that you or a loved one uses any of the substances listed in this post, look for the following signs of dependency and addiction:

  • An obvious and debilitating desire to consume the substance daily or multiple times a day for a sustained amount of time (weeks or months)
  • Inability to complete tasks and responsibilities that were once easy to complete
  • Using the substance in unconventional or precarious environments
  • Losing interest in hobbies, friends, or activities
  • Purchasing the substance even when economically unable to do so
  • Rapid change in appearance, weight, or personality

These signs and behaviors may present themselves with any addictive substance. Addiction does not begin and end with alcohol, prescription medication, cocaine, and marijuana. Other drugs, although with much lower usage reported, plague Iowans. For example, methamphetamine abuse has risen each year across the United States, rural Iowa included.

St. Gregory Recovery Center Can Help

No matter what the substance may be, if you live in Iowa and suspect that you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, consider entering a treatment program today. St. Gregory Recovery Center understands how to treat an array of different substance abuse issues using holistic, innovative treatment methods and the soundest scientific approaches to date.

Don’t hesitate to contact our facility at any time with questions or concerns.

Researching Iowa addiction specialists? To learn more about programs offered at St. Gregory Recovery Center, call and speak with someone today, at (888) 778-5833.

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


Give us a call. We want to help.


carf logo
CARF ASAM Level 3.1 certification logoCARF ASAM Level 3.5 certification logoCARF ASAM Level 3.7 certification logobetter business bureau logo   Inclusive