New Mexico isout of the list ofthe top 10 statesrecording fatal drug overdoses, according to the latest report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The state known for high drug trafficking activities registered 497 drug overdose deaths in 2016, four more than the corresponding numberin 2015, the report said.With this, the rate of drug overdose deaths in the state, which was among the top 10 for two consecutive years, reaches 25.2 per 100,000 population.
It is noteworthy that New Mexico ranked second in drug overdose death rate in the United States in 2014. The rankcame down to eight in 2015. In 2016, the burgeoning drug overdose deaths in other states like Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland and Maine, pushed New Mexico to 12thslot, the CDC said.However, within New Mexico, some areas reported quite high fatality rates. Rio Arriba County topped the chart with 90 drug overdose deaths per 100,000, followed by Catron County (55), San Miguel and Lincoln Counties (each 43.4).
Overall, the country’saverage rate of drug overdose deaths increased to 19.8 (per 100,000) in 2016 from 16.3 (per 100,000) in 2015.West Virginia (52)reported the worst drug overdose death rate inthe countryin 2016. While New Mexico reported a stagnant overdose death rate, other states witnessed 20 to 30 percent growth in drug-related fatalities.The U.S. registered a staggering 21 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in one year, from 52,400 in 2015 to 63,632 in 2016.
Surprisingly, 22 states in the U.S.registered death rates higher than the national average of 19.8, including Ohio, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Iowa, North Dakota, Texas, South Dakota and Nebraska had the lowest rates.While natural opioids contributed to the majority of fatalities, deaths involving synthetic opioidslike fentanylsaw a two-fold increase in 2016, surpassing heroin for the first time.
New Mexico leads by example
The stabilization of overdose death rate in New Mexico may be attributed to effective programs that have helped the state combatthe problem in recent years. Under a monitoring program for opioids, the state has introduceda new law to stop abusers from “doctor shopping” for painkillers. The law makes it mandatory for physicians to check a patient’s prescription history. The state registered a 63 percent increase in providers using the monitoring program since last year, while witnessing a 5 percent drop in the number of opioid pillsprescribed.
In addition, New Mexico has becomethe first state to allow law enforcement agencies to administer naloxone, a medication used to reverse opioid overdose, to people with addiction.Besides, New Mexico has taken a tough stance on traffickers to control drug misuse in the state. In May 2017, law enforcement agencies arrested 23 people associated with Mexican drug cartels.
Dealing with drug abuse
While New Mexico has got some success in controlling drug abuse, other states, especially those with the highest drug overdose death rate, need to learn their lessons. Authorities need to take stern steps to curb illegal trades, along with expanding therapeutic interventions to increased number of people addicted to opioids or any other drug.
Drug addiction has deleterious health implications, but the good news is that it is treatable. Therefore, if you know someone grappling with drug addiction, help him or her seek expert advice so that he can resume a healthy life. Sovereign Health, one of the leading drug addiction rehab centers in the U.S., offers evidence-based treatment to people addicted to substances. Our drug addiction treatment centers located across the country provide specific treatment programs based on a patient’s requirements. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know more about our drug addiction treatment programs.