Why Addiction is Prevalent in New Mexico When delving deeper, one must ask the question, “What makes this quiet, desert state a target for drugs and alcohol?” One of the main factors is its prime location. New Mexico is one of the Four Corners, which is a region where New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah join together. The state also borders Mexico, which is a direct route for land trafficking. It’s easy to smuggle drugs over the border and quickly move these illegal substances into other parts of the country. We’ve also learned from some of our own patients that there is a large percentage of Hispanics in New Mexico who use drug trafficking as their source of livelihood. With this in mind, the continuous flow of drugs is never-ending because it’s money for these families. New Mexico also has several larges cities, including Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Like any metropolis, both Santa Fe and Albuquerque have plenty of late-night clubs that bring in drugs like ecstasy, LSD and GHB. And because there are vast areas of remote desert land, it’s easy to host raves as well. We have patients who live in both the cities and suburbs of New Mexico, and both admit that the drug culture is steadily evolving because of these factors.
How Does New Mexico Compare to Other States?New Mexico often falls low on the radar compared to other states, which is why it’s often overlooked when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Compared to other states, however, New Mexico’s rates of death are double the national rate, and alcohol consumption is the leading cause of premature death in the state. It is also the most commonly used substance after tobacco. Alcohol is responsible for the high rates of motor crashes, suicide and homicide in the state. With Mexico a short distance away, Mexican drug organizations also distribute multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, heroin, meth, club drugs and marijuana.
A Close Look at the NumbersBelow is the percentage of the New Mexico population using and/or abusing drugs.
|Illicit Drugs||Age 18+|
|Past Month Illicit Drug Use 1||9.24%|
|Past Year Marijuana Use||10.60%|
|Past Month Marijuana Use||6.78|
|Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana 1||3.74%|
|Past Year Cocaine Use||2.85|
|Past Year Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use||5.72|
|Past Month Alcohol Use||47.79%|
|Past Month Binge Alcohol Use 2||22.7%|
|Past Year Dependence, Abuse & Treatment||Age 18+|
|Illicit Drug Dependence 1||1.97%|
|Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse 1||2.93%|
|Alcohol Dependence or Abuse||8.22%|
|Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse 1||9.97%|
|Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use 1,3||2.68%|
|Needing but not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use 3||7.92%|
|Serious Psychological Distress||12.65%|
|Having at Least One Major Depressive Episode 4||7.68%|