Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe and the surrounding areas are suffering from some of the worst substance abuse issues in the country. As a state, New Mexico has the highest rate of alcohol use in the United States. New Mexico also ranks number two out of all states for drug overdose rates. 178 individuals died from overdose in the state in a 3-year timespan. Drug and alcohol abuse lurks in high schools and professional circles. 5% of high school students reported using heroin in recent years at least once. Sate Fe County statistics report marijuana use a common practice with high schoolers at 26%, and cocaine at nearly 5%. These problems still remain despite many attempts to reduce drug use.
Alcoholism in Santa Fe
New Mexico’s population adjusted rates of alcohol-related deaths were ranked in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place since 1981; between 1997 and 2014, New Mexico ranked 1st. For every 100,000 people in New Mexico, alcohol has “robbed 1,570 years of life annually” from 2006 to 2010. Additionally, alcohol has claimed the lives of 16.4% of New Mexico’s workforce, reaffirming New Mexico’s number 1 spot in the nation for alcohol abuse.
Santa Fe has the highest rate of alcohol abuse in New Mexico. 51.2 Santa Fe individuals die from alcohol-related deaths out of every 100,000 people. 14.9% of Santa Fe adults binge drink. The Santa Fe student population who binge drink has climbed to 12.9%, compared to New Mexico’s average 14.6%. Native American men and women aged 65 and older make up the largest single group of individuals who have died from alcohol-related illnesses. 44% of young people in Santa Fe under the age of 13 had at least one drink between 2005 to 2015. High school students who binge drink risk being victimized, drunk driving, and developing alcoholism in later years.
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The Opioid Epidemic in Santa Fe
Prescription and illicit opioids have a heavy hold on many of Santa Fe’s population. Drugs like Methadone and Morphine are commonly prescribed to combat extreme pain from serious injuries. Unfortunately, many of these drugs are over-prescribed by medical professionals or abused by patients. Fentanyl is a highly abused synthetic opioid far more potent that Morphine and takes 2 to 3 milligrams to be potentially fatal. Cocaine, a stimulant, is often unknowingly combined with opioids like heroin or fentanyl, increasing both the potency and lethality of both.
Santa Fe Overdose Rates
Santa Fe County has witnessed spikes in fatal overdose rates. Currently, Santa Fe faces 33.9 drug overdoses per year per every 100,000 people. In previous years, Santa Fe County experienced a 7% increase in drug-related overdoses.
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Santa Fe’s Substance Abuse Disorders and Co-Occurring Disorders
Santa Fe’s drug and alcohol crisis concerns many governmental officials. State officials are implementing various strategies to reduce the prevalence of substance abuse disorders. Individuals with addictions may use drugs to cope with underlying issues, called co-occurring disorders, such as:
Individuals suffering these conditions may not have the means to gain medical assistance, and therefore choose to self-medicate with harmful substances.
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Substance abuse disorders are personal challenges individuals struggling should get help for. Due to the nature of substance abuse, individuals should consider rehab to combat their addiction. They have access to therapists who council patients battling co-occurring disorders and to medications and therapies which treat undiagnosed disorders, along with support groups to reinforce sobriety.Contact a treatment provider and discover if local rehabs or rehabs requiring travel are best for you.