Teen Drug Use: Drugs Easy to Get, New Mexico Teens Say
The war on drugs has cost tax payers billions of dollars. In 2010 alone, the misuse of drugs cost America nearly 40,000 lives. Alcohol was blamed as a factor in about 85,000 deaths. Prescription drug abuse led to more than 22,000 deaths in 2010.
New statistics coming out of the state of New Mexico are causing worry among health officials there. The state has some of the most alarming statistics when it comes to alcohol abuse. New Mexico holds the inauspicious record for the highest number of alcohol-related deaths in the nation since 1997. Drug abuse in the state also lands it squarely in the top three states year after year.
What’s leading to the massive rate of use and abuse in New Mexico? The New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey of middle school and high school students found that many youths can easily obtain illegal substances with few, if any, significant obstacles in their way. Two-thirds of that survey’s recipients said that alcohol is readily accessible.
The survey found that 66 percent of teens judged access to marijuana as “uncomplicated.” In addition, 28 percent of high-schoolers said that “hard drugs” were readily accessible.
The state is getting “SWAT” teams in on the action by establishing relationships with the state’s youth. But these are not the SWAT teams dressed in black, carrying assault weapons. SWAT stands for Student Wellness Action Team. The members work with public and private schools to provide alcohol and drug awareness to youths across the state.