In an exploratory study of 31 undergraduate students at the University of New Mexico, students reported nonmedical use of 35 prescription drugs, with narcotic analgesics and benzodiazepines being the most frequently used. Other substances were often used in combination with the prescription-type drugs, especially alcohol and marijuana.
In 2017, New Mexico providers wrote 56.4 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons. The average U.S. rate in the same year was 58.7 prescriptions per 100 persons (per the CDC).
The overdose death rate due to methadone decreased from 2.3 per 100,000 in 1998 to 1.5 in 2002. Illicit drugs were identified in 50.3 percent of these decedents (e.g., heroin, 35 percent; cocaine, 22 percent).
Regarding source of methadone, similar numbers of methadone-caused deaths originated from physician prescription for managing pain and for methadone maintenance treatment.
The statewide rate of overdose deaths associated with prescription drugs rose from 1.11 per 100,000 persons in 1995 to 5.87 in 2003. The rates varied across the four New Mexico Health Districts: Southeast—from 0.8 in 1995 to 6.2 in 2003, Northwest—from 1.5 in 1995 to 6.1 in 2003, Northeast—from 1.5 in 1995 to 5.5 in 2003 and Southwest—from zero in 1995 to 4.9 in 2003.
There were significantly more deaths from opioid painkillers (oxycodone, Hydrocodone, propoxyphene, codeine, mepiridine) in the southern quadrants of the state (24 percent) than in the northern quadrants (15-17 percent).
A review of 64 cases of unintentional prescription drug overdose deaths showed that 41 percent had a history of prescription drug abuse, 31 percent had a known history of alcohol abuse, and 31 percent had a history of illicit drug abuse.
In 2003, the median age of decedents from prescription drug overdose death (45.3) was somewhat higher than those who died of an illicit drug overdose (40.5). Although males accounted for most of the drug over-dose deaths in 2003 (217 vs. 90 for females), the percentage of deaths among females has since increased.
In reviewing drug overdose deaths by metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in New Mexico from 1994 to 2003, similarities and differences were identified. Farmington had a much lower proportion of illicit drug overdose deaths and a much higher proportion of prescription drug overdose deaths than the other areas.
These included cities like Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, and those outside of any MSA. The proportions of deaths reported in other areas were also similar.
In 2003, rates of prescription drug overdose deaths reached their highest levels since 1995, ranging across the four districts from 4.9 to 6.2 per 100,000 residents. From 2000 to 2003, the rates increased by 69 percent in the Northwest (from 3.6 to 6.1 deaths per 100,000 residents), 129 percent in the Northeast (2.4 to 5.5 deaths per 100,000 population), 145 percent in the Southwest (2.0 to 4.9 deaths per 100,000 residents), and 170 percent in the Southeast (2.3 to 6.2 deaths per 100,000 residents).
The rate of overdose deaths involving opioid prescriptions was 8.4 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2017 and has not significantly changed since 2015. In the year 2017, there were 332 overdose deaths involving opioids in New Mexico — a rate of 16.7 deaths per 100,000 persons compared to the average national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons.
Prescription opioids were involved in most deaths in 2017 with 171, followed by heroin with 144, and synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly Fentanyl) with 75 deaths. Deaths have not significantly changed over the last several years.
NAS or neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) may occur when a pregnant woman uses drugs such as opioids during pregnancy.The rate of NAS/NOWS in New Mexico increased 324 percent from 3.3 cases per 1,000 live births to 14.0 cases per 1,000 live births.
While Hispanics accounted for the highest proportion of cases, 48 percent, the highest increase occurred among American Indian/Alaska Natives with a 698 percent increase from 0.8 cases per 1,000 live births in 2008 to 6.4 cases per 1,000 live births in 2017.
Of the new HIV cases in 2016, 125 occurred in New Mexico. Among males, 16.6 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to male-to-male contact and intravenous drug use. Among females, 18.2 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to intravenous drug use.
In 2015, an estimated 3,215 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in New Mexico — a rate of 186 cases per 100,000 persons. Of those, 18.8 percent of cases among males were attributed to opioid abuse or male-to-male contact and opioid abuse. Among females, 27.8 percent were living with HIV attributed to opioid abuse and prescription opioid abuse.
There were approximately 18 new cases of acute HCV (0.9 per 100,000 persons) reported in New Mexico in 2016 (per the CDC). In New Mexico, there are an estimated 26,900 persons living with Hepatitis C (2013-2016 annual average), a rate of 1,700 cases per 100,000 persons.
The good news is that there are numerous centers of treatment and rehab in New Mexico. There are many types of treatment centers such as long term addiction treatment facilities, short term drug abuse treatment, outpatient detoxification programs, outpatient substance abuse treatment services, inpatient drug abuse treatment and others.
There is a wide range of drug and alcohol rehab facilities available. They include individual psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, couple/family therapy, trauma therapy, trauma-related counseling, cognitive/behavior therapy and others, to name a few. If you need rehab in New Mexico, all you need to do is place a call to any of the available rehab centers.
If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.
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