BlogVisual drugs: a decade of Google drug searches
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Visual drugs: a decade of Google drug searches


Add some colour to your day! This animated infographic shows what illicit substances Americans are googling the most.

The chart below shows the dominant drug-related search terms throughout different US states in the past decade. At the very least it's more entertaining

It’s no secret that methamphetamine became one of the most commonly abused drugs in the 2000s. With a lower street price and a more intense high, meth rapidly surpassed cocaine as it swept across middle America. At the height of the meth epidemic in 2005–2006, it was the single most-searched drug in dozens of states.

Around the time meth became the subject of greater law enforcement attention and crackdowns, Adderall, a prescription stimulant, increasingly became a substance of abuse. Searches for the anxiety medication Xanax have also risen throughout the Midwest and South, at the same time that Xanax-related ER visits have doubled over six years.

Click image to enlarge

American national trends in drug searches likewise reflect trends in illicit drug usage and popularity. After its 2005–2006 peak, interest in meth has once again soared as the drug continues to infiltrate American communities. And as addictive prescription painkillers have become more tightly regulated, heroin has become an increasingly popular substitute.


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