New Mexico Is No.1 For Alcohol-Related Deaths
Need help? Call our 24/7 helpline. 855-933-3480

New Mexico Is No.1 For Alcohol-Related Deaths


Curious how your state ranks in the dubious distinction of rates of alcohol-related deaths? We don’t blame you, we were too! Here are some of the findings to help soothe your worried mind.

They Like Their Booze West of the Mississippi

New Mexico came in at No.1  in the study, which monitored alcohol-related deaths among working age (20-64) between 2006-2010. Alaska and Colorado came in second and third, with Arizona tying with Wyoming for fourth highest rate.

In another interesting Arizona-related stat, the report, put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that 13.4 percent of the deaths of working-age peeps in Arizona were attributable to alcohol, which is far above the national average of 9.8 percent.

No Place to Land despite All the Land

The CDC study, published last month, looked at 54 alcohol-attributed causes of death, including falls, accidents, suicide and liver disease. One of the a co-authors of the report, Mandy Stahre, named multiple possible reasons that one state might perform worse than another, such as poverty, alcohol-enforcement policies and religious views toward alcohol. She also said there is a “regionality” factor in the findings. “When dealing with a state like Arizona or New Mexico, you have some areas that are just very rural,” she said. “Access to care can be a huge issue.”

She also noted that not everyone has a nearby trauma center or hospital to go to following a car crash or another serious type of alcohol-related accident.

Alcoholism is Still the Wild West of Health Issues

Of course, another possible cause for certain states’ higher alcohol-related death numbers could, sadly, be the simple fact that even today, alcoholics and their families don’t generate the most sympathy or even understanding from the world at large. Alcoholism and addiction are still misunderstood and stigmatized in many parts of the country (and the world!), and folks who do admit they have a problem can sometimes be penalized or ostracized for their illness, potentially risking their jobs, relationships and their prospects of obtaining insurance. But their issues aren’t just kept within each family; alcoholism can become a drain on health care and other community and governmental agencies.

Reducing the number of alcohol-related deaths by getting better help for people with substance-abuse problems is something we should all be working toward, not just people who identify as addicts themselves. Addiction is a disease that touches us all, and until we start treating it as a serious physical and mental condition with wide, sweeping effects on entire communities and not just singular families, both the stigma and the death rates will surely keep rising. In the meantime, it looks like Jesse Pinkman’s state has more to worry about than just blue meth.

Any Questions? Call Now To Speak to a Rehab Specialist
(855) 933-3480

About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.