More legislative attention should be placed on studies like the one mentioned below in New Mexico. Providing effective addiction treatment for drug and alcohol abuse is a major solution for states that are facing financial difficulties. Any health care reform needs to take into account the vast amount of money that will continue to be spent on drug abuse if effective preventive and treatment measures are not put in place.
With prescription drug abuse deaths eclipsing car accidents in many states, health care reform will be paying double for prescription drugs – first for the prescription itself and second for the effects of the prescription drug abuse itself.
The cost of heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine abuse are likewise extremely high.
Our families are paying for all of this – and much of it is unnecessary spending.
“The economic costs of alcohol abuse in New Mexico topped $2.5 billion in 2006 — not to mention the nearly 1,000 lives lost to alcohol-related diseases, auto crashes, and other consequences — according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
Epidemiologist Jim Roeber said the toll from drinking is far greater than most people believe.
“Alcohol abuse is a major contributing factor in many motor vehicle fatalities, but that is not the only place where it can cause injuries and death,” he said. “Alcohol abuse can play a role in fires, falls, drug overdose, and drowning, and can contribute to violence such as child abuse, homicide, suicide and personal assault.”
Alcohol-related chronic liver disease is the leading cause of alcohol-related death in New Mexico, Roeber added.”
The full report is available online at the New Mexico Department of Health website .