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Alcoholism in Las Cruces

3 Minute Read | Published Nov 24 2023 | Updated Jan 03 2024

According to the latest data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), New Mexico has the third-highest rate of alcohol use disorder in the United States, with 8.6% of the population suffering from this condition. Las Cruces, the second-largest city in New Mexico, is not immune to this issue and faces similar challenges in combating alcoholism. Here, we will explore the prevalence of alcoholism in Las Cruces and compare it with the rest of the state, as well as provide hope and reassurance that addiction can be treated.

In Las Cruces, alcohol-related problems are a major concern. The city ranked the highest in the state for DUI-related fatalities in 2018, accounting for almost 17% of all alcohol-related crashes in New Mexico. Moreover, in 2019, the Las Cruces Police Department responded to 1,080 alcohol-related calls, resulting in 451 arrests for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). These numbers are particularly concerning considering the relatively small population of Las Cruces.

According to a study conducted by the New Mexico Epidemiology and Response Division, alcohol-related deaths in Doña Ana County, where Las Cruces is located, have increased by 25% over the past decade. In 2016, alcohol-related deaths accounted for 10% of all deaths in the county, a higher rate than the state average of 8.5%. This indicates that the issue of alcoholism in Las Cruces is more severe compared to other areas of New Mexico.

Factors such as access to alcohol, cultural norms, and economic stress contribute to the high rates of alcoholism in Las Cruces. The city is home to several bars, restaurants, and liquor stores, making it very easy for residents to obtain alcohol. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) also shows that binge and heavy drinking among adults in Las Cruces is significantly higher than the state average. Moreover, in New Mexico, Hispanic and Native American populations have historically had a higher prevalence of alcohol use disorder due to cultural norms and societal pressure.

However, there is hope for individuals struggling with alcoholism in Las Cruces. The city offers a variety of resources for addiction treatment, including residential and outpatient programs, support groups, and counseling services. The Doña Ana County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, in collaboration with local organizations, has also been actively working to reduce substance abuse and underage drinking in the community.

It is important to note that alcoholism is a treatable condition. With proper support and treatment, individuals can successfully overcome their addiction and lead a fulfilling life in recovery. For those seeking help in Las Cruces, there are support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as licensed treatment centers, including inpatient and outpatient programs. These programs offer a comprehensive approach to recovery, addressing not only the physical aspect of addiction but also the underlying psychological and emotional factors.

In conclusion, while the issue of alcoholism in Las Cruces is a concern, it is not insurmountable. Local efforts to address substance abuse, combined with individual determination and support, can lead to successful recovery from alcohol addiction. With access to resources and a belief in the ability to overcome addiction, individuals in Las Cruces can take the necessary steps towards a healthier and happier life.
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