Map Sources & Disclaimer

All drug arrest counts and rates reflect the most current, accurate, and complete data we were able to find. The drug arrest counts and rates include both possession and sales because many states do not report both categories separately; note, however, that the majority of drug arrests nationwide – around 85 percent – are for possession alone. Most of the data reflect 2021 drug arrest data, but there are several instances where the most current data available are from 2019 or 2020. In the majority of instances, drug arrest numbers reflect state police or public safety department reports made available through their individual websites. In several cases where state reports of drug arrests could not be found, FBI Crime Data Explorer (CDE) data were used. The FBI has historically relied on local police agencies to voluntarily submit data. The data have always been partial, but 2021 was especially incomplete. Agencies covering only 65% of the U.S. population submitted partial crime data to the FBI, which is why we opt to use data from state reports where possible. You can find a link to the data drug arrest data source by the hyperlink of the year under the arrest rates tab. Current drug arrest data could not be found for Illinois, New Jersey, and New Mexico.

State-level drug overdose mortality rates reflect data provided on this map  by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the most recent state-level provisional drug overdose death counts, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System.

If you have corrections, updates, or questions, please email [email protected].

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