Addiction involving alcohol or drugs - or a combination of the two - is a common problem in the state of New Mexico. The state is widely known for its retail and lumbar trade, cattle ranches, oil drinking, and dryland farming opportunities. It has also acquired fame for popular attractions like Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
With more than 2 million citizens, it comes as no surprise that this state struggles with high rates of substance abuse and addiction. In 2015, for instance, drug overdoses claimed 500 lives among its citizens. The same year, more than 5,000 people were enrolled in an addiction recovery program.
From 2007 and 2011, New Mexico was reported to have one of the worst rates of drug related overdose fatalities. Since 1990, this number had more than tripled. During this period, drug overdoses were considered to be the leading cause of unintentional death among local residents.
For several years now, the state has also witnessed an increase in the rate of overdose fatalities linked to prescription medications. In particular, these deaths have been mostly caused by opioid pain relief medications, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Another problem revolving around substance abuse and addiction in New Mexico involves drug and alcohol use especially among young people. For instance, the NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - reported in 2015 that about 20 percent of all students in the state's high schools had drunk alcohol at least once in their lives before they were 13 years old. 9 percent of this population had also abused cocaine.
80 percent of the leading causes of fatalities in the state are also associated with drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. Further, New Mexico is reported to have the 2nd highest mortality rate linked to drug overdoses in the United States. More specifically, it loses 23.8 lives for every segment of 100,000 people.
The counties that reported the largest number of drug and alcohol related fatalities from 2007 to 2011 included McKinley, Dona Ana, Santa Fe, San Juan, Rio Arriba, and Bernalillo.
Other common substances of abuse in the state include methamphetamines, ecstasy, alcohol, marijuana, and crack cocaine - as well as prescription medications like codeine, Percocet, Valium, Klonopin, Ambien, Xanax, Vicodin, and Lortab.
One of the main drug problems in this state revolves around opioids - including prescription opioid and opiate pain relief medications like morphine, synthetic opioids like fentanyl and its analogs, as well as heroin (and illegal opioid drug).
Each year, doctors and other health care service providers in New Mexico write over 1.5 million prescriptions for this class of drugs. This effectively makes opioids the most commonly prescribed medication in the state. They are closely followed by such benzo drugs as Xanax and Valium.
If you have been struggling with an alcohol or drug abuse and addiction problem in New Mexico, you should check into any of the addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities that the state has to offer.