New Mexico Addiction Treatment
In 2014, an average of seven people died per week in New Mexico from an opioid-related overdose, including heroin, painkillers or a combination of both.
New Mexico has one of the worst drug trafficking problems in the nation. While small-production clandestine labs have held their presence in the state, drug trafficking operations (DTOs) contribute the vast majority of New Mexico’s drug supply. Most of the heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine that comes into New Mexico is transported through the Mexican border in commercial vehicles; however, DTOs have begun smuggling their products via small-craft airplanes as a result of the state’s enhanced law enforcement strategies. The constant flow of drugs has disrupted New Mexico’s communities, resulting in skyrocketing abuse rates and the need for residents to get treatment.
There’s never been a better time to get treatment for an addiction than right now. If you or someone you know is struggling with abusing drugs or alcohol, we can help. Call today to get in contact with a top-rated treatment provider.
Laws of New Mexico Drug Use
Possessing, selling, manufacturing or trafficking drugs in New Mexico are considered serious offenses. Violators who commit these crimes face harsh penalties including jail time, fines or a combination of both.
In New Mexico, the severity of a drug offender’s sentence is based on a number of criteria, including the type of drug, the amount of drug involved and where the crime took place.
Drugs in New Mexico are classified into five different categories – known as schedules – depending on the drug’s perceived risk of addiction and its recognized use in a medical setting. Substances categorized in schedules I and II are considered to have the highest risks for addiction and the least amount of accepted medical use. In contrast, drugs listed in schedules III, IV and V decrease in risk for addiction, while increasing in medical value.
There are many substances categorized in each of the schedules, but here are some of the most well-known examples:
- Schedule I: Heroin and marijuana
- Schedule II: Cocaine and methamphetamine
- Schedule III: Substances with certain amounts of lysergic acid or nalorphine
- Schedule IV: Medications containing certain amounts of chloral hydrate or phenobarbital
- Schedule V: Medications containing small amounts of certain substances, like pseudoephedrine
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Drug Possession Penalties
The length of jail time and maximum fines for drug possession in New Mexico vary substantially according to different circumstances. Certain drugs are treated separately from other scheduled substances. Those convicted of possession within a drug-free school zone face greater consequences.
|Type of CDS||Maximum jail or prison time||Maximum fine|
|Schedules I, II, III or IV||1 year||$1,000|
|Methamphetamine, PCP, GHB, 1-4 butanediol||18 months||$5,000|
|Possession within a Drug-Free School Zone|
|Schedules I, II, III or IV||18 months||$5,000|
Drug Selling or Production Penalties
In New Mexico, producing any type of drug with the intent to sell is considered a far more severe offense than possession alone. Penalties increase if the crime involved a certain type of drug or took place in a drug-free school zone.
|Type of CDS||Type of offense||Maximum jail or prison time||Maximum fine|
|Schedules I, II, III, or IV||First-time offense||3 years||$5,000|
|Subsequent offense||9 years||$10,000|
|Schedule V||First and subsequent offenses||1 year||$500|
|Methamphetamine and narcotics||First offense||9 years||$10,000|
|Subsequent offense||18 years||$15,000|
|Sale or Production within a Drug-Free School Zone|
|Schedules I, II, III, or IV||First offense||9 years||$10,000|
|Schedule V||Subsequent offense||18 years||$15,000|
|Methamphetamine and narcotics||First or subsequent offense||18 years||$15,000|
Recreational marijuana is illegal in New Mexico. First offenders caught possessing less than one ounce must pay a $100 fine and spend up to 15 days in jail. However, after a person’s second offense, that penalty increases to a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.
If a person in New Mexico is convicted of marijuana possession with the intent to sell, violators can face up to an 18-year prison sentence and a fine of $15,000.
Despite its strict recreational marijuana penalties, New Mexico has fully operational medical marijuana laws. Enacted in 2007, the use of medical marijuana is permitted to treat the following medical conditions:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Hospice patients
- Huntington’s disease
- Intractable nausea/vomiting
- Multiple sclerosis
- Painful peripheral neuropathy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Spinal cord damage
Patients with a medical marijuana prescription can obtain up to six ounces from a state-licensed dispensary. Cultivation of up to 16 plants (four mature, 12 immature) is also allowed.
Addiction Treatment Laws in New Mexico
Like many states, New Mexico has laws in place to protect people from the potential risks of using drugs. These laws, known as harm reduction laws, include the policies, programs and resources available in communities to reduce the harms of drug use.
Some of New Mexico’s harm reduction laws include:
- A 911 Good Samaritan Law: New Mexico was the first state to enact a Good Samaritan Law, which allows people experiencing (or witnessing) an overdose to call 911 without being charged or arrested for drug abuse.
- Access to Naloxone: The state legalized access to Naloxone, which reverses the effects of an opioid-related overdose. Family members, friends or other loved ones of a person at risk of an opioid overdose can obtain the life-saving medication without a prescription.
- Clean Syringe Access: Allowing people to obtain clean syringes through syringe access programs (SEPs) helps reduce the transmission of bloodborne illnesses from needle sharing. These exchange programs are available in most of New Mexico’s county health departments.
Some people think that having these programs in place encourages more drug use. However, harm reduction laws aim to ensure the welfare of communities by preventing the spread of diseases and the number of opioid overdoses that turn fatal.
Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative
Nearly one in every five New Mexicans knows someone who died from an opioid-related drug overdose. In an effort to combat the state’s high opioid-related death rates, New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office launched the Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative in January 2015.
The HOPE Initiative is a strategic approach to New Mexico’s heroin and opioid abuse issues. It advocates creating preventive tactics to educate communities about the dangers of heroin and opioid painkiller addiction.
The goals of the initiative are to protect New Mexico’s communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers. HOPE is comprised of five elements:
- Prevention and education
- Treatment options
- Law enforcement
- Strategic Planning
We understand that we can’t just attack the supply of prescription opioids and heroin by prosecuting those who are selling these drugs illegally. While that is a huge concern, we must also educate so that we prevent future generations from becoming addicted to opioids, and therefore reduce the demand.” — Shammara H. Henderson, assistant U.S. attorney and Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education
Since the launch of HOPE in New Mexico, more criminals have been prosecuted for drug trafficking and more people have turned toward getting treatment.
New Mexico Pseudoephedrine Restrictions
Pseudoephedrine is an over-the-counter medication used to treat colds and sinus congestions. It’s also the main ingredient used to produce methamphetamine.
New Mexico is one of many states with daily and monthly limits on the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can purchase.
Under state law, a person can’t buy more than 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine per day, and no more than nine grams during a 30-day period. Research has shown that placing limits on the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can purchase have significantly reduced the number of active methamphetamine labs over time.
Southwest Border High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA) Region
New Mexico is one of five states in the Southwest border region of the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, which works to strengthen drug control efforts among local, state and Federal law enforcement agencies. Law agencies and officials work closely together, sharing intelligence on regional drug trends that could lead to winning the fight against drug trafficking. To date, the program has helped seize thousands of pounds’ worth of smuggled drugs, including methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.
Treatment Centers in New Mexico
After you or your loved one decides to seek treatment for an addiction, the next step is choosing the right rehab.
New Mexico has multiple treatment options designed to address the different stages of addiction, as well as a person’s individual needs. Some of the treatment programs available in New Mexico include:
- 30-day, 60-day and 90-day residential inpatient treatment
- Intensive outpatient rehab
- Medical detox
- Recovery support groups
When weighing your options, it’s important to remember that you deserve the best treatment available for your type of addiction. Each rehab center is different, but asking the following questions can help determine whether their program is a fit:
- Is medical detox offered as part of residential treatment?
- Are treatment programs tailored to each person?
- What type of environment does the treatment facility have?
- Do you offer financing options or accept insurance?
- Is ongoing support offered to patients after they leave treatment?
Another thing to consider is where you’ll go for treatment. Many people simply choose a center that’s convenient to them in terms of location. But if you limit your options to what’s closest to home, you might miss out on getting the exact treatment you need. This is why more people are choosing to travel out of state for rehab.
Sometimes, traveling far from home to get the exact treatment you need makes all the difference in your road to recovery.
When it comes to your recovery, don’t settle for second best. Contact a treatment provider today to learn about available rehab options.