A two-year study has just been completed by the National Survey on Drug Use & Health on illegal drug use. Colorado ranked first among the states in the usage of cocaine by persons over 12 years of age within the past year.

The highest rate of past year cocaine use among persons ages 12 or older was found in Colorado, 3.9 percent. The lowest rate was found in Idaho, 1.6 percent. Arizona and Colorado were the only two states that ranked in the top fifth for all three age groups, 12-17, 18 to 25 and 26 or older. …SAMHSA combined two years of data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health to enhance the precision of estimates for the less populous states. The report estimates state rates of use of illegal drugs, binge drinking, serious mental illness and tobacco use.

The report is the “State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2002-2003 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.” You can access it here. Highlights are here. Is there a reason for Colorado’s high numbers? According to the Denver Post:

While the state ranks near the top in drug and alcohol use, it ranks last in per capita spending on substance-abuse prevention, treatment and research, according to a 2001 study by the National Center for Alcohol and Substance Abuse. Crandall said studies show that every $1 spent on prevention saves $7 later in treatment and incarceration for related problems. “We’ve got to get through to the legislators and others in a position to make these decisions,” he said.