Anyone who has ever watched the AMC television show “Breaking Bad” knows that like everywhere else, drugs are a problem in New Mexico.
Recently the state released a report showing an increase in drug overdose deaths of more than 60% from 2001 to 2010. This according to the New York Times.
One of the primary drivers of the spike is prescription opioids — painkillers like oxycodone, morphine and methadone — whose sales rose 131 percent during the same period. In New Mexico, the overdose death rate from prescription drugs now outstrips that from illegal drugs.
Over the last decade, deaths from prescription drug overdoses have risen to unprecedented levels throughout the country.
Are Pills Gateway Drugs?
One of the major concerns is that drug addiction begins with pills and graduates to more and harder drugs like heroin. As a counselor for both in-class and online drug classes every young person I’ve talked to that’s using heroin always started with pills.
The state’s drug rehab clinics estimate that about 50% of their patients come in addicted to prescription medication. These clinics typically treat the patients with dosages of Suboxone, a less stimulating opiate that helps quiet the craving for pain pills and heroin — along with traditional Mexican healing practices, acupuncture and reiki, which involves placing a practitioner’s hands on various body areas to cure ailments.
The increasing trend toward prescription abuse and addiction is troubling for the state. More drug classes combined with strict regulation of prescription medications are keys to halting the spread of this epidemic.