New Mexico’s teens have among the highest rates of drug use in the nation. This can lead to crime, illness, or worse – death.
In 2015 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a nationwide survey of high school students; the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, as it is known, quizzed students on 118 health behaviors in areas ranging from drug and alcohol use to sexual behavior and eating habits.
New Mexico’s youth ranked second highest in the nation for cocaine and Ecstasy use, fifth highest for methamphetamine and eighth highest for heroin. The students had the second highest rate in the U.S. in responding that they had used cocaine or Ecstasy at least once in their lives.
Of the New Mexico youths, approximately 9% reported having used cocaine, and approximately 8% said they had used Ecstasy, or “molly,” a synthetic drug similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens. Over 4% reported using methamphetamine on at least one occasion, and 3.5% stated that they had used heroin.
As for marijuana, New Mexico ranked second in the country. In fact, the survey revealed that one in four New Mexico high school students used marijuana at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey.
Some good news is that alcohol consumption among New Mexico high school students is on the decline. Indeed the rate of students who described binge-drinking behavior has dropped by more than 50% since 2003. Binge drinking is classified as drinking five or more alcoholic beverages during a single occasion, within the past 30 days; binge drinking and is responsible for 90% of alcohol consumption among teenagers in this country.
Addiction advocates and health officials reported that the findings were consistent with how readily available and plentiful drugs are in New Mexico, the absence of treatment options, and the social climate of New Mexico.
The “New Mexico Substance Use Statistics” (2007-2011: Most current available 5-year period) claims that 8 out of the 10 leading causes of death in New Mexico are linked to the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. Scarily true that New Mexico’s teens are on the path to such an outcome unless more resources are devoted to drug prevention and treatment. If that doesn’t happen soon New Mexico’s teens will go from being among the highest number of drug users in the nation, to the highest. That’s a contest no one wants to win.
If you are the parent of a teen in trouble with the law, contact the lawyers at Lightning Legal Group today – we are experienced criminal and family law practitioners ready to take on your case with great care and skill. Give us a call at 505-247-2390 for a free consultation.