Survey: New Mexico teens report high rates of drug use
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A national survey of high school students has found that New Mexico teenagers have some of the highest rates of drug use involving a variety of illegal substances.
Ingrained social behavior and the easy access to drugs are among the factors that are contributing to the trend, state health officials told the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/2b2CoIZ ).
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey quizzes students about 118 health behaviors in areas ranging from drug and alcohol use to sexual behavior and eating habits.
According to the nationwide survey, New Mexico ranked second highest for cocaine and Ecstasy use, fifth highest for methamphetamine and eighth highest for heroin. The survey also found one in four students reported using marijuana at least once in the 30 days before the survey.
About 9 percent of New Mexico students reported using cocaine, about 8 percent reported they had used Ecstasy, 4 percent reported using meth and 3.5 percent said they had used heroin.
“The fact that New Mexico has high rates of substance abuse is consistent with our high rates of alcohol-related deaths and drug-overdose deaths,” state epidemiologist Dr. Michael Landen said.
According to the survey, New Mexico has the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in the country and the second-highest rate of drug-overdose deaths.
As for marijuana, the survey has found pot use among high school students has remained consistent for the last 10 years, Landen said. “We’ve noticed over time that marijuana use is relatively common among high school students, and it really hasn’t changed” for a decade, he said.
However not all of the survey was bad. Alcohol use among teenagers in New Mexico continued to decline in 2015, with the rate of students who reported binge-drinking behavior falling by more than half since 2003. Fewer than one in seven students reported binge drinking in the 2015 survey.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com