What Is Substance Use Disorder?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual defines “substance use disorder” as the use of alcohol and/or drugs causing clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school or home.
Substance use disorder is common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable and many people do recover. Like all diseases, Substance use disorder requires the right care. It affects people from all communities and all age groups.
Drug and alcohol-related deaths reached all-time highs in 2020 New Mexico has long had some of the highest death rates from alcohol and drugs in the country and the problem continues to worsen. Since 1990, drug overdose deaths have increased by 572 percent and alcohol-related deaths have increased by 165 percent, with more than 43 thousand New Mexicans dying from those causes over the 30-year period. The deaths in a single year reached their highest point yet in 2020, with 1,770 alcohol-related deaths and 766 overdose deaths. Consistent with the rise in absolute numbers, death rates related to substance abuse increased sharply over the last few years. In 2016, the state’s alcohol-related death rate was 66 per 100,000 people, nearly double the national rate of 34 per 100,000 people. By 2020, New Mexico’s alcohol-related death rate rose another 34 percent to 88.5 deaths per 100,000 people. Similarly, from 2016 to 2020, the state’s drug overdose death rate increased by 54 percent. In 2019, the last year for which federal data is available, New Mexico’s overdose death rate was 40 percent higher than the national rate. Over 43 Thousand New Mexicans Have Died of a Drug Overdose or Alcohol-Related Cause Since 1990 Drug overdose deaths Alcohol related deaths Source: DOH
Commonly Used Drugs In New Mexico
Fentanyl and methamphetamine have surpassed heroin and prescription opioids as the leading causes of overdose deaths, contributing to 78 percent of those deaths in New Mexico in 2020.
8,700 patients received buprenorphine through Medicaid to treat opioid dependence in 2020—a 126 percent increase since 2014.
The state tripled spending on substance abuse treatment from 2014 to 2020 and increased service delivery by 85 percent
Legal Impact Of Drug Crimes
Criminal penalties associated with illegal possession of controlled substances are:
- Monetary fine between $100 to $1,000 for a first offense petty misdemeanor
- Up to one year in jail and a fine for a full misdemeanor
- Prison sentence not to exceed 18 months for fourth-degree felony
- Prison sentence not to exceed 3 years for third-degree felony
How you’re penalized depends on multiple factors, but the point is, if you possess illegally, you’re putting yourself, your future and everything you love at risk. It’s not a gamble you want to take.