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New Mexico’s Drug Abuse Statistics are Among the Highest in the Nation
When compared with other states across the nation, New Mexico’s drug abuse and mortality statistics are among the highest in the nation. According to a survey conducted across all states in the nation, New Mexico teens reported the second highest rates of cocaine and ecstasy abuse. We were the fifth highest in methamphetamine, and the eighth highest for heroin abuse, and the second highest for regular marijuana use. The survey was conducted on high school students.
Escalation of Drug Use
Rates of drug abuse across the nation have escalated in recent recent years, but New Mexico seems to be particularly susceptible to readily available drugs; a fact which appears to surprise no one. New Mexico has traditionally had a drug problem, and leads the nation in alcohol related deaths, and is the second worst state in the nation for drug related deaths. In fact, 8 of the 10 leading causes of death in New Mexico are related to illegal and prescription drugs, alcohol, or tobacco.
If you’re wondering why that is then you’re probably asking the wrong question. It’s fairly apparent to most that New Mexico’s streets are being flooded with illegal drugs. On top of that, there aren’t enough treatment options for those languishing in the thrall of addiction, especially in rural areas. Part of the problem is that New Mexico has somewhat of a cultural that normalize drug abuse, and the problem of drug abuse is a generational problem, with young kids first experiences with drugs being the ones they see at home.
For those that see drug abuse normalized in the home, the likelihood that they will go on to have substance abuse issues later in life is greatly increased, but the issue isn’t merely illicit drugs. New Mexicans also have a serious problem with alcohol addiction, scoring highest in the US for alcohol related deaths. While you may be thinking these are mostly car accidents, the majority of New Mexicans who die of alcoholism are actually dying of alcohol poisoning. While you may be inclined to believe these are mostly young kids who haven’t figured out how to hold their liquor, the rates of alcohol related deaths actually increase with age. While you may be inclined to think this is a national problem, the rate of alcohol related injury deaths is nearly double the national average.
Keep Fighting the Battle
As health service providers who work with addicts from all walks of life, it often feels as though we’re fighting a losing battle. New Mexico’s drug and alcohol abuse statistics have reached the level of an epidemic. These statistics should give us a deep pause and be the cause of some hard introspection. Each tick on the stat sheet represents a life that has been destroyed by addiction, and countless other lives that have been robbed of a person that once they loved. We have to look at these statistics for what they are; a stark reminder that we’re currently failing as a community to help those in need.
However, there are many treatment facilities and fantastic people who are truly committed to fighting this fight. There is always hope! As families and as a community, we need to provide direction, support and help where it is needed. Treatment centers like Viewpoint Rehabilitation Center is also a great option when you need that help and support. We won’t give up.