The opioid crisis has hit every state in the country. It is a terrible public health crisis that authorities have a hard time controlling. There are families across New Mexico that have been touched by this crisis. You may wonder how the state stacks up to the rest of the nation and how hard opioids have hit it.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the state is doing slightly worse than the nation as a whole when it comes to deaths from opioid abuse. In 2016, there were 349 deaths, which came to 17.5 deaths per 100,000 people. The national average is 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Of course, any death due to these drugs is a serious tragedy.
Even more concerning is that the number of deaths has risen in the state since 2012 for synthetic opioids and heroin. There was an increase of 41 deaths due to synthetic opioids and an increase of 57 deaths due to heroin in that time. On the plus side, the number of deaths due to prescription opioids decreased since 2014 from 257 to 186.
Of course, the direct effects of abuse are not limited to just the person using the drug. Pregnant women who use opioids put their babes at risk. In fact, there was an increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome from 2009 to 2013. In 2009, it occurred in 3.7 out of every 1,000 births. In 2013, it happened in 8.5 out of every 1,000 births.
While work is going into combating this problem, there is a long way to go towards ending opioid abuse and saving lives. This information is for education and is not legal advice.