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Utah continually defies the averages found in the rest of the country. Where it may be the norm for economies to stagnate, our great state finds ways to grow through a diversity of sectors. Communities have worked together in unison towards bigger and better things and will continue to do so. If you were to sum up our state into one word, it would most likely be “cool.” Utahans have a proud sense of community. There are support networks in every family and group of friends, yet the state does face many problems with drug addiction and alcoholism. When there seems to be no hope and no one to turn to, know that Palm Partners Recovery Center is here.

Data shows that those 26 and older particularly need – and aren’t receiving – alcohol detox and rehab in New Mexico. Those 18-25 are in the same situation for drug detox and rehab. If you’re using and abusing, call Palm Partners Addiction Detox and Rehab now for immediate help: 505-832-3082. Get into the right facility and transform your life. Our professionals are standing by, 24/7.

What you should know

Since almost all of the Mexican/New Mexico border is open desert and uninhabited, smugglers have few barriers to entry into the state. Once in New Mexico, Mexican drug organizations then have access to an extensive road system that traverses the state. As a result, New Mexico is transshipment site for transporting drugs throughout the U.S

Compared to other states

  • Illicit drugs overall – moderately high for those 26 and older, average for those 18-25
  • Pharmaceuticals – among the highest for those 26 and older, moderately low for those 18-25
  • Alcohol – among the highest for those 26 and older, moderately high for those 18-25
  • Cocaine – moderately high for those 18-25, average for those 26 and older
  • Marijuana – average for those 18 and older

Source: SAMHSA’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, based on 2008-2009 annual averages. SAMHSA is the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A closer look


A significant threat. A severe shortage of qualified medical personnel has forced the state to grant prescriptive authority to practitioners not licensed in other states. Recently, New Mexico become one of the few states to grant prescribing authority to psychologists who have no medical or pharmaceutical training. Drugs smuggled from Mexico are illegally sold over the counter, contributing to what’s become a main way of obtaining prescription medications, particularly oxycodone and hydrocodone products. Other sources are “doctor shopping,” forged prescriptions, illegal sale and distribution by health care professionals and workers and in-transit theft.


A very significant problem.


One of the biggest threats. The shipping of cocaine through New Mexico from Mexico is increasing at an alarming rate. Routinely, multiple kilogram quantities are seized from commercial trucks, public transportation and private vehicles. Shipments are usually destined for Denver, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Chicago and, more recently, the Midwest and East Coast. Cocaine and crack are readily available throughout New Mexico. Crack is particularly a threat in urban areas. Ethnic gangs are the main distributors.


Most prevalent drug. Medicinal marijuana is legal. Mexican-smuggled marijuana in loads up to 8,000 pounds is transported via private vehicles and tractor-trailers. Multi-ton and multi-pound loads are generally seized at all transportation terminals, U.S. Customs and border checkpoints and local courier service locations. Domestic cultivation is prevalent due to the state’s vast national forest land.


Steadily increasing. Espanola Valley consistently has the highest per capita heroin overdose death rate in the U.S. Mexican black tar is highly available in northern New Mexico and Albuquerque. Brown heroin is also available in the state. Couriers bring most of the drug across the border, although private vehicles also carry the drug in secret compartments.


Available in multi-kilogram quantities. The meth generally originates in Mexico, but arrives from distributors in Los Angeles and Phoenix operating as part of larger Mexican poly-drug trafficking organizations. Small labs are prevalent in the remote, rural locations of the Four Corners region.

Club drugs

MDMA (Ecstasy), Ketamine, LSD and GHB available. But they are primarily available in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Los Angeles and Phoenix are source areas. Raves are often in remote locations on U.S. Forest Service lands. Use of these drugs has not skyrocketed to the extent seen in other areas of the country.

Percentage of New Mexico population using/abusing drugs

AGE1 18+
Past Month Illicit Drug Use2 9.24
Past Year Marijuana Use 10.60
Past Month Marijuana Use 6.78
Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana2 3.74
Past Year Cocaine Use 2.85
Past Year Nonmedical Pain Reliever Use 5.72
Perception of Great Risk of Smoking Marijuana Once a Month3 40.50
Past Month Alcohol Use 47.79
Past Month Binge Alcohol Use4 22.17
Perception of Great Risk of Drinking Five or More Drinks Once or Twice a Week3 48.60
Illicit Drug Dependence2 1.97
Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse2 2.93
Alcohol Dependence 4.02
Alcohol Dependence or Abuse 8.22
Alcohol or Illicit Drug Dependence or Abuse2 9.97
Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Illicit Drug Use2,6 2.68
Needing But Not Receiving Treatment for Alcohol Use6 7.92
Serious psychological distress 12.65
Having at least one major depressive episode7 7.68

1 Age group is based on a respondent’s age at the time of the interview, not his or her age at first use.

2 Illicit Drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically. Illicit Drugs Other Than Marijuana include cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.

3 When the Perception of Great Risk in using marijuana or alcohol is low, use of marijuana or alcohol is high.

4 Binge Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least 1 day in the past 30 days.

5 Dependence or abuse is based on definitions found in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

6 Needing But Not Receiving Treatment refers to respondents needing treatment for illicit drugs or alcohol, but not receiving treatment at a specialty facility.

7 Major Depressive Episode is a period of at least 2 weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had a majority of the symptoms for depression as described in the DSM-IV.

Source: Condensed version of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2004 and 2005, from SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies.

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