Fascinating graphic shows the states where Americans take the most mood-altering drugs

Every day, about 19% of Americans take some kind of mood-altering drug, according to a new poll from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Some states have far more users than others, however, as this graphic from Jishai Evers at Dadaviz makes clear:

While West Virginia has the most daily mood-altering drug users, with 28.1% or nearly 3 out of every 10 people, Alaska has the least, with 13.5% or just under 1.5 out of every 10 people.Advertisement

Researchers got this information by calling at least 450 people in each state and asking how often they use drugs or medications (including prescriptions) that affect mood or help with relaxation.

Although the question was open-ended, most people didn't include drinking or smoking in their response.

While 19% of Americans reported using mood-altering drugs every day, about 62% of Americans say they never use them. The remaining 19% say they rarely use them.
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If those numbers don't strike you as exceedingly high, consider this:

The real number of daily mood-altering drug users may be far higher than the poll found.People are more likely to under-report their drug usage to a real person than they are to a computer and since the research was conducted over the phone, the actual numbers of daily users are likely far higher, Gallup-Healthways research director Dan Witters told NBC News.Advertisement

Americans who use these drugs every day also reported a lower sense of overall well-being compared with those who rarely or never use them, but the drugs may not be necessarily causing this.

People who already have a lower sense of well-being, for example, may be simply using drugs to help them relax or change their mood, according to Gallup Healthways. Other studies have found similar connections, but it's difficult to determine which is causing which.

Here's the complete state-by-state ranking of how many people take mood-altering drugs on a daily basis:Advertisement

1. West Virginia: 28.1%

2. Rhode Island: 25.9%

3. Kentucky: 24.5%Advertisement

4. Alabama: 24.2%

5. Louisiana: 22.9%

6. South Carolina: 22.8%Advertisement

7. Mississippi: 22.3%

8. Missouri: 22.2%9. Indiana: 22.1%Advertisement

10. Oregon: 21.9%

11. Pennsylvania: 21.6%

12. Arkansas: 21.6<%Advertisement

13. Oklahoma: 21.5%

14. Michigan: 21.5%

15. Tennessee: 21.5%Advertisement

16. Ohio: 21.3%

17. Vermont: 20.1%

18. Wisconsin: 20%Advertisement

19. Florida: 19.6%

20. Massachusetts: 19.5%21. Iowa: 19.4%Advertisement

22. North Carolina: 19.1%

23. Nevada: 19.1%

24. Idaho: 19%Advertisement

25. Georgia: 18.7%

26. New Mexico: 18.4%

27. Kansas: 18.4%Advertisement

28. Delaware: 18.4%

29. Nebraska: 18.3%

30. Connecticut: 18.2%Advertisement

31. Maine: 18.1%

32. New Hampshire: 18.1%33. Montana: 17.7%Advertisement

34. Virginia: 17.7%

35. Arizona: 17.6%

36. Washington: 17.6%Advertisement

37. Minnesota: 17.5%

38. South Dakota: 17.4%

39. New York: 17.4%Advertisement

40. Hawaii: 17.3%

41. Maryland: 17.3%

42. Utah: 16.8%Advertisement

43. Colorado: 16.7%

44. Texas: 16.7%45. New Jersey: 16.5%Advertisement

46. North Dakota: 16.4%

47. Illinois: 16%

48. California: 15.8%Advertisement

49. Wyoming: 15.5%

50. Alaska: 13.5%