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New Mexico Prescription Drug Addiction

About 2 million people nationwide struggle with prescription drug abuse and no state is immune from this serious problem. New Mexico prescription drug addiction is more than a mere problem however; New Mexico has the second highest drug-associated death rate in the country, and many of these have been attributed to prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse involves drugs like painkillers, sedatives, and stimulants. If you or someone you love is battling a prescription drug addiction, it’s essential for your health and well-being to get help immediately. You can manage your substance addiction and reach long-term sobriety with high-quality treatment that addresses your particular needs.

Defining Prescription Drug Abuse

There are many prescription drugs that are extremely effective for treating a myriad of health conditions, but have a drawback: they are extremely addictive. Physicians prescribe these drugs because they are necessary to treat health problems, but the downside is unmistakable. Unfortunately, many prescription drugs are associated with significant rates of addiction. Using a prescription drug in a way that isn’t approved by one a doctor–one’s own doctor–can be defined as prescription drug abuse. Taking someone else’s prescription medication is a form of drug abuse too. People who increase the dose of their own medication are also participating in a form of prescription drug abuse. In many states, prescription drug-related deaths surpass even illegal drug-related deaths. Prescription drugs are powerful and people can form deadly addictions to them.

New Mexico Prescription Drug Addiction and Abuse

New Mexico is struggling more than most states when it comes to prescription drug abuse. In fact, the New York Times referred to the state’s prescription drug abuse problem as a “plague.” In its report, the paper reported “prescription opioid addiction in New Mexico has carved through racial and economic barriers over the past few years.” The New Mexico Drug Control Update has stated that most of the state’s drug-related deaths–the second highest rate in the country–are due to prescription drugs. The Trust for America’s Health has suggested that the state is doing an outstanding job in its efforts to curb prescription drug abuse in New Mexico, but the drawback to their crackdown is the increase in the use of other deadly drugs like heroin.

Most Common Prescription Drugs of Abuse

In New Mexico, as in most other states, prescription painkillers are the most widely abused prescription medications. Oxycodone, Percocet, and various other painkilling opiates top the list for the most abused prescription drugs in New Mexico. While ideal in many ways for the effective management of pain, these medications are very addictive and prone to high rates of abuse. Long-time use of these drugs can lead to the development of a drug tolerance, which can be the first step on the path to substance addiction.

Other commonly abused prescription drugs in New Mexico are classed as stimulants and sedatives. Ambien, Xanax, and Valium are highly addictive, but they play important roles in the pharmaceutical catalog by offering symptom relief for patients suffering from conditions like insomnia or acute anxiety. While doctors try to monitor their patients’ use of prescription drugs, they do not always know when use turns to abuse.

What Prescription Drugs Are Most Commonly Abused?


Oxycodone is a synthetic opiate that is frequently prescribed to treat severe pain. Oxycodone is a Schedule II narcotic because it contains extremely addictive qualities. Signs of oxycodone addiction include dizziness, mood swings, anxiety, paranoia, sweating, and sometimes hallucinations. If withdrawal from the drug occurs, individuals should suspect that addiction has developed. Other signs of oxycodone addiction include taking someone else’s prescription or shopping for other doctors in order to get more of the medication.


Ambien is a popular sedative that is typically prescribed to people with sleep issues. Even in the short term, this medication is linked to a high rate of addiction. Common signs associated with Ambien abuse include amnesia episodes, panic attacks, and reduced appetite. Withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur if the sufferer’s Ambien dose is not taken to satisfy the body’s craving for the drug.


Adderall is prescribed to treat patients with ADHD. Adderall is often abused to speed up the body’s processes. People who abuse Adderall take it to stay awake or alert for a long period of time. Signs Adderall abuse and addiction include headaches, anxiety, changes in sex drive, mood swings, and nausea.

Treatment for New Mexico Prescription Drug Addiction

New Mexico prescription drug addiction is best managed with certified addiction treatment. New Mexico’s best addiction treatment centers will address each dependency, the psychological, behavioral, and physical aspects of the condition. Comprehensive addiction treatment can help an individual successfully manage their addiction. When entering rehab facilities or an addiction treatment center, individuals are evaluated for their health and aspects of their addiction. After this assessment, addiction treatment center specialists will be able to recommend a tailored treatment plan for each sufferer.

The first part of treatment is most commonly medical detox. People should undergo detox only at an addiction treatment center or licensed rehab. During detoxification, sufferers are weaned from the prescription drug in question. Withdrawal symptoms will likely occur, but they can be reduced in intensity with some medications. It is unsafe to stop using prescription drugs entirely because withdrawal symptoms could become so intense that health complications ensure. In a medical setting, caregivers are there to monitor each patient’s health and to guard against any issues that could arise.

After medical detox, addiction sufferers will undergo counseling to address the psychological and behavioral aspects of their condition. Once treatment is complete, aftercare programs such as a12-step program (i.e. NA) can provide the extra support many people need to reach long-term recovery.

Prescription drug addiction is a chronic and commonly relapsing disease for those who suffer from it. Yet, the condition can be successfully overcome with the help of professionals at an accredited treatment facility. Contact an addiction specialist today and explore your options for professional treatment. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.