Alcohol and Drug Addiction in Las Cruces, New Mexico
The state of New Mexico has witnessed one of the highest rates of opioid abuse in the United States. Opioid-related deaths drastically increased from 2008 to 2012. In 2015, the numbers continued to increase, eventually reaching the 3rd highest drug overdose death rate in America. Doña Ana County, home to Las Cruces, in particular, is no stranger to drug overdoses and drug arrests.
Drug Problems in Las Cruces
In recent years, Doña Ana County has witnessed hundreds of arrests for illicit drugs. In 2017, 275 people were arrested for methamphetamine use. In 2016, Doña Ana county arrested nearly 1 person each day for methamphetamine use. Over 859 pounds of drugs were confiscated. Las Cruces law enforcement have also seized 3.6 kilograms of cocaine and 2.5 kilograms of heroin in recent years.
Doña Ana County ranks 4th out of 33 counties in the state for opioid-related overdoses. In previous years, there were 6.1 deaths by illicit substances per every 100,000 people. 80% of drug deaths are unintentional overdoses with heroin (38%), methadone (35%), and cocaine (34%) being the most common. Consequently, problems with substance abuse still remain.
Alcoholism in Las Cruces
New Mexico suffers from very high alcohol abuse rates, and the Las Cruces area alone accounts for 6.2% of New Mexico’s alcohol-related deaths. New Mexico has maintained the highest rates of alcoholism in the United States for 30 years. In Las Cruces, there are 35.5 alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 people annually, in addiction to 19.9 alcohol-related injuries, 9.3 alcohol-related chronic liver disease deaths, and 3.3 alcohol-related traffic accidents.
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Las Cruces Youth Substance Abuse Disorders
While White and Hispanic communities experience the highest numbers of alcohol-related deaths, all of New Mexico’s youth experiment with alcohol and substances. New Mexico ranks number 1 in the nation for youths who have:
- Used ecstasy
- Used cocaine
- Consumed alcohol on school property
- Marijuana use before 13 years old
- Marijuana use on school property
19.9% of Doña Ana youth have used marijuana. 10% have used painkillers, 6.6% have used cocaine, 11.5% have used ecstasy, 3.7% have used meth and 2.5% have used heroin. Alcohol use is also common in youth. Las Cruces struggles with teenage-binge drinking, raising concerns for local officials. 28% of New Mexico youth are current drinkers. 23.6% of Doña Ana youth are binge drinkers, and 49% of local youth have drank in the past.
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Risks Factors for Youth Alcoholism in Las Cruces
The high number of youth drinkers concerns many of the Las Cruces law officials. Several factors contribute to this problem. The availability of alcohol on school campuses and the curiosity of getting drunk can tempt youth to drink Furthermore, children are more at risk for alcohol abuse if they have mental and emotional disorders or family members who drink. Youth with impulsive behaviors are also at higher risk of alcohol abuse.
Youth who drink in middle or high school can easily find alcohol becoming a crutch for dealing stress or difficult moods. Young drinkers who drink 1 to 4 drinks in one sitting at first can transition to heavy drinking. The earlier someone drinks, the more likely they are to develop alcoholism in their later years.
Get Help in Las Cruces Today
If you or a loved one struggle with drug or alcohol dependence, there are many options for recovery. Treatment providers can help you locate facilities who care for adolescents, offer alternative healing options, and discuss financial support. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss treatment plans and discover the best facility for your recovery needs.