There are approximately 2,059,179 people that currently reside in New Mexico as of 2010. Drug and alcohol abuse in New Mexico is a growing problem.
Alcohol Abuse in New Mexico
Out of the 2,059,179 people residing in New Mexico, 947,222 do not consume alcohol and 555,978 report that they drink alcohol once a week or less. So, 1,482,609 people in New Mexico do not drink at a level that would be considered unhealthy or abusive. However, 514,795 people in New Mexico drink enough alcohol on a regular basis to be considered abusers of alcohol.
Getting yourself or someone you love into an alcohol treatment center is vital to recovering from alcohol abuse. There are 75,000 alcohol related deaths each year with an annual economic cost of 184 billion dollars.
Studies on the effects of alcohol advertising on adults in the state of New Mexico do not show a strong connection between alcohol advertisements and alcohol consumption. However, studies on the effects of alcohol advertising consistently indicate that children in New Mexico that are exposed to these types of advertisements are more likely to have a favorable attitude toward drinking alcohol and are more likely to become underage drinkers and communicate the intention to most likely drink as an adult.
Drug Abuse Statistics in New Mexico
Approximately 193,563 people in New Mexico abuse some type of illegal drug.
A breakdown of this percentage shows the following:
- 34,454 people abuse alcohol and another drug in New Mexico
- 31,164 people abuse marijuana in New Mexico
- 26,518 people are addicted to or abuse Heroin in New Mexico
- 19,163 people smoke cocaine (crack) in New Mexico
- 16,840 people use stimulants in New Mexico
- 8,130 people use or abuse Opiates (not heroin), in New Mexico
- 7,743 people use cocaine (e.g., cocaine powder, not crack cocaine) in New Mexico
- 774 people in New Mexico abuse tranquilizers
- 406 people use or abuse PCP in New Mexico
- 387 people in New Mexico are addicted to or abusing sedatives
- 213 people use hallucinogens such as lsd or ecstasy in New Mexico
- 194 people in New Mexico abuse Inhalants
- 968 people use some other type of illegal drug in the state of New Mexico
With such a large number of people in New Mexico abusing drugs or alcohol, it is critical to help these individuals get into some type of drug or alcohol treatment program. Addictionca.com provides a wide range of information on all types of drug and alcohol facilities in New Mexico. If you need further information, you can call and speak to one of our registered drug counselors for assistance in finding a drug and/or alcohol treatment facility. These services are provided free of charge and the call is toll-free.
Each drug rehab in New Mexico has a different approach to the recovery process. Take note of what is important to you, and make decisions based on your personal needs. Keep in mind that in New Mexico there are a multitude of treatment options to choose from: outpatient treatment, in patient treatment, support groups, drug rehabilitation, alcohol rehab, drug treatment programs, sober living, halfway houses, long term treatment, short term treatment, counseling, and many more. An individual can become thoroughly confused by asking a half-dozen recovering alcoholics or drug addicts in New Mexico how they conquered their abuse of alcohol or drugs; the answers vary although each of them are convincing and emotional. They will cite such diverse approaches as hospitalization, diet, exercise, counseling, sauna's, religion, hypnosis, amino acids and self-help groups. When it comes to successful treatment, only one thing is certain: practically any approach will work for some of the people, some of the time. To put it another way, successful drug rehabilitation is like a designer suit- it's got to be tailor-made for each individual. A great deal of variation exists in the degree of dependence among drug users. The teenager who smokes marijuana three times a week is not as dependent as the thirty year old who has smoked marijuana six times a day for 15 years and has already relapsed after being in two drug rehabilitation centers. It's obvious that these individuals need different approaches to treatment. Similarly, among cocaine users are some who use it in binge fashion, one or two days a month, and others who use it several times each day. Again, different treatment approaches are required for each case.
For those who do not have a long history of drug addiction, an outpatient treatment program might be the correct decision. This form of treatment may be a viable solution for those who have a brief drug addiction history. These individuals might only need the guidance and counseling available though this method of treatment. On the other hand, those who have experienced an extended period of drug addiction, choosing the correct drug rehab program typically means that they should enter into an in patient drug rehab program not located in New Mexico. The structure, 24-hour support and change of enviornment made available through this type of drug rehab recovery program can be highly effective for those recovering from a long term drug addiction problem. Most drug rehab professionals in do not recommend any one "best" treatment approach, recognizing the many variations among drug and alcohol abusers. In general, the levels of treatment range from simple and behavioral to complex and medical. The person dependent upon drugs or alcohol may have used the chosen substance for so long that he or she has literally forgotten how to cope with the daily challenges of life; how to have a meaningful, drug-free lifestyle; or how to solve the social or psychological problems that prompted the substance abuse in the first place. In these instances, a very comprehensive approach must be prescribed if the individual is to expect any degree of successful recovery. Once stability is achieved, the "clean" or sober individual can take several steps to enhance recovery and avoid relapse. Among the general recommendations are belonging to a group as a support system, having a religious involvement, practicing good health habits; including proper diet, sleep, and exercise, as well as goal planning and self enhancement projects.
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New Mexico State Facts
New Mexico Population: 2,059,179
Law Enforcement Officers in New Mexico: 5,705
New Mexico Prison Population: 12,000
New Mexico Probation Population: 10,263
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 4
2004 Federal Drug Seizures in New Mexico
Cocaine: 913.6 kgs.
Heroin: 1.3 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 60.0 kgs.
Marijuana: 42,666.2 kgs.
Ecstasy: 144 tablets
Methamphetamine Laboratories: 88 (DEA, state, and local)
New Mexico Drug Situation: New Mexcio falls within the El Paso Division area-of-responsibility. The El Paso Division covers 54 counties in West Texas and New Mexico, comprising 778 miles, which is approximately 40% of the U.S./Mexico Border. The Division has 45 agents in New Mexico, who cover an area that includes 3 Ports-of-Entry (POE) and 6 USBP Checkpoints. The border area between New Mexico and Mexico is sparsely populated and has limited natural or man made barriers to illegal crossing. This coupled with an extensive road network that traverses the state in all directions makes New Mexico a haven for the transshipment of illegal drugs from Mexico to destination points throughout the U.S. New Mexico’s proximity to the El Paso/Juarez area is an additional vulnerability to illegal drugs smuggled through the major Ports-of-Entry. Additional threats to the region are the shipments of controlled substances via commercial vehicles, including aircraft, buses, and by Amtrak rail. New Mexico is also considered a hub for significant amounts of drug proceeds being laundered through small businesses.
Most of the New Mexico/Mexico international border (approximately 180 miles) is open desert and is generally uninhabited with innumerable roads, trails, footpaths, and ranches which allow smugglers easy entry into the U.S. and access to major highways which traverse the country. New Mexico encompasses over 50,000 square miles of land and is one of the largest states geographically, yet it is very sparsely populated. Three interstate highways dissect the state: I-10 and I-40 provide east/west access along the southwest border from California to the East Coast. I-25 provides north/south access from Las Cruces, New Mexico to Colorado and Wyoming. The largest drug threat in New Mexico is the transshipment of drugs and drug proceeds, by Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (MDTOs). MDTOs have also established local polydrug distribution organizations that are capable of distributing multiple kilogram quantities locally and regionally.
Another factor significantly impacting New Mexico is the strain drug trafficking and immigration cases puts on the federal judicial and corrections system. The U.S. District Court in New Mexico has the highest case load per judgeship in the nation and has the fourth busiest court overall in the U.S. The overwhelming percentages of the caseload confronting the U.S. District Court in New Mexico are immigration and drug cases. In addition to an overloaded court system the state of New Mexico is critically short on jail space. Current enhanced enforcement operations by the Department of Homeland Security in Arizona will most likely force drug traffickers and alien smugglers to shift their smuggling efforts from Arizona to New Mexico. This in turn will have a serious impact on enforcement operations and judicial proceedings in New Mexico.
Cocaine in New Mexico: The El Paso/Juarez corridor serves as a transshipment point for cocaine to various locations in the U.S. Seized loads range from 50-800 pounds. Cocaine is transported through New Mexico by MDTOs at an increasing rate. Multiple kilogram quantities are routinely seized from commercial trucks, public transportation and private vehicles. The most common seizures occur when privately owned vehicles are interdicted with ten to fifty kilograms of cocaine concealed in their vehicle. Cocaine interdicted in New Mexico is typically destined for Denver, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and Chicago. Recent cocaine interdictions indicate a possible shift to other destination cites in the Midwest and East Coast. Cocaine is also readily available for distribution throughout New Mexico in gram to ounce quantities for local consumption. Local law enforcement authorities consistently rank cocaine and crack cocaine distribution and use as one of the most prominent drug problems.
Crack Cocaine in New Mexico: There is ample availability of "crack" cocaine throughout New Mexico. In smaller municipalities such as Hobbs and Silver City, crack cocaine use and distribution is at a level that is considered dangerous to the quality of life. The majority of the crack available comes from cocaine HCL supplied by MDTOs to local crack distributors who then convert the powder cocaine into crack. Ethnic gangs are the primary distributors of crack cocaine in urban areas. It poses the greatest threat to school children. Street level distributors can be found in all social and economic layers of the community. Of special concern is the high level of violence associated with crack cocaine traffickers.
Heroin in New Mexico: Mexican black tar and brown heroin are routinely seized at the POEs in New Mexico. Black tar heroin has long been available in this region from sources in the Mexican States of Sinaloa, Michoacan, and Nayarit. Heroin is most commonly smuggled in secret compartments in private vehicles and concealed on persons. In Albuquerque, Mexican black tar heroin is most readily available and widely abused. The heroin is usually carried across the border by couriers. Northern New Mexico has a high availability of Mexican black tar heroin and is a major problem for local law enforcement agencies. Heroin availability has shown a steady increase over the past five years as evidenced by the increase in kilogram seizures and a steady decrease in price. An area north of Santa Fe known as the Espanola Valley is consistently rated by the U.S. Department of Health and other statistical reporting agencies as having the highest per capita heroin overdose death rate in United States. Local enforcement efforts have resulted in numerous arrests, however MDTOs routinely rotate their cell managers and other persons frequently making long-term enforcement operations difficult to pursue.
Methamphetamine in New Mexico: Methamphetamine poses a multi-pronged threat in this region. It is available in multi-kilogram quantities. The majority of methamphetamine seized originates in Mexico, but arrives in New Mexico from distributors in Los Angeles, CA and Phoenix, AZ. Methamphetamine investigations are especially prevalent in the area known as the Four Corners Region where the States of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet to form a common border and along the eastern New Mexico/Texas border. Popular in the area are the small, clandestine laboratories, set up, especially in New Mexico, in remote, rural locations. In Southern New Mexico, closer to Las Cruces and El Paso, the current preferred process is the "Birch method", that uses chemicals, such as anhydrous ammonia, to process the methamphetamine. Use of the "Birch method" is believed to be an attempt by small laboratory operators to acquire non-controlled chemicals for production, in order to subvert law enforcement scrutiny.
Club Drugs and Hallucinogens in New Mexico: MDMA (ecstasy), Ketamine, LSD, and GHB are available in New Mexico, primarily in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Rave parties are held routinely in the area, often in remote locations on US Forest Service lands. Attempts to infiltrate these parties have been moderately successful resulting in several arrests of low level dealers. Interdiction seizures account the bulk of club drugs and hallucinogens seized. The majority of these seizures originate in the LA and Phoenix areas and are destined for the east.
Prescription Drugs in New Mexico: The diversion of prescription drugs continues to be a significant enforcement issue. Illegal or improper prescription practices are the primary source for illegally obtained prescription drugs, primarily in the oxycodone/hydrocodone families. Interdiction efforts also indicate that prescription drug smuggling from Mexico, where these drugs can be sold over the counter, contributes to the illegal distribution of prescription medications. Compounding this issue, is the state's severe shortage of qualified medical personnel which forces state authorities to grant prescriptive authority to practitioners not licensed in other states. New Mexico has recently become one of the few states to grant prescribing authority to psychologists who have no medical or pharmaceutical training.
Marijuana in New Mexico: Marijuana is the most frequently controlled substance that is seized in the New Mexico area and are generally destined for distribution in eastern markets. Marijuana loads seized from private vehicles and semi-tractor-trailers range from 500 to 8,000 pounds. Multi-pound and multi-ton marijuana seizures occur at all transportation terminals, USBP (Bureau of Customs and Border Protection) checkpoints, and local courier service locations. Marijuana smuggled from Mexico is available from a multitude of sources in both New Mexico and West Texas and is the most prevalent drug in New Mexico. New Mexico's vast National Forest land makes the domestic cultivation of marijuana an enforcement issue.
Other Dangerous Drugs in New Mexico: Several drugs in this category are more available, due, in part, to El Paso's close proximity to Juarez, Mexico, where purchases can be made over the counter from unscrupulous pharmacists. Ecstasy, Rohypnol, and other pharmaceuticals are being used at Rave parties. The use of these types of drugs has not skyrocketed, as in other metropolitan areas in the U.S. These same drugs are available in New Mexico.
DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. There have been 409 deployments completed resulting in 16,763 arrests of violent drug criminals as of February 2004. There have been seven MET deployments in the State of New Mexico since the inception of the program: Clayton, Albuquerque, Portales, Las Vegas, Deming, Espanola, and Clovis.
DEA Regional Enforcement Teams: This program was designed to augment existing DEA division resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement. This Program was conceived in 1999 in response to the threat posed by drug trafficking organizations that have established networks of cells to conduct drug trafficking operations in smaller, non-traditional trafficking locations in the United States. Nationwide, there have been 22 deployments completed resulting in 608 arrests of drug trafficking criminals as of February 2004. There have been no RET deployments in the State of New Mexico.
New Mexico Drug Proceeds: The transportation route through the West Texas/New Mexico area includes drugs coming into the U.S. and money being sent back to Mexico. These drug proceeds are difficult to trace and seize. Money is often laundered through legitimate businesses and money exchange houses. Conducting financial investigations leading to the identification and seizure of assets used to facilitate drug smuggling operations, or acquired as a benefit of such an enterprise, is an effective deterrent. Currency seizures also indicate that New Mexico is being utilized to return drug proceeds to Mexico and to the wholesale distributors in Arizona and California. Two areas of concern for money laundering activities in the state include:
Approximately 14 Native American owned and operated casinos that handle billions
of dollars in cash and almost completely unregulated by state and Federal authorities.
In Las Cruces, New Mexico, less than 50 miles from the US/Mexico border, has over 200 banking facilities, including many that operate from private residences and are not FDIC insured. Cities of similar size averaged 5-10 banking facilities.
Special Topics: The New Mexico HIDTA region was designated in 1990 as one of the five regions of the Southwest Border HIDTA. The region encompasses thirteen counties, three Ports-of-Entry, and about 180 miles of international border shared with Mexico. The New Mexico HIDTA is currently seeking supplementary funding to address the heroin issue in Northern New Mexico. The New Mexico HIDTA is also in the process of restructuring its Intelligence Support Center in order to more effectively target major Mexican and Regional DTOs.