We all have favorite metropolises across the U.S., romantic or un-romantic notions of what certain cities hold in our mind’s eye: San Francisco for its bridges and climate, Detroit for its cars and manufacturing, New York for its theatre and art. But like unique landscape and culture, certain cities have come to harbor certain drug predilections. Why? Various reasons: history, chemical availability, ethnic population, and some we can’t even put our finger on, can’t quite identify. Here are some of the worst drugs of the trade and the cities that, strangely or not, covet them. Think you know why a city has picked its poison? Have a bit of wisdom? Tell me in the comment section below. I’ll explore these unique drug-city relationships over the next month as part of SciAm’s special city issue.

Baltimore, Maryland: heroin

Missoula, Montana: methamphetamine

Washington, D.C.: cocaine

New Orleans, Louisiana: crack

San Francisco, California: heroin