Information for Adults, Parents & Guardians

The New Mexico Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness aims to promote healthy choices and educate students about the dangers of opioid use. We encourage parents to utilize the resource links below and learn more about this growing epidemic.

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  Facts about Opioids:

  • New Mexico had the 12th highest drug overdose death rate in the US in 2016.**

  • 2 of 3 drug overdose deaths in New Mexico in 2016 involved prescription opioids or heroin. **

  • In 2016, there were 497 deaths due to drug overdose in New Mexico. To put that in context, one New Mexican died from drug overdose about every 18 hours.**

  • Most non-medical users of prescription opioids report obtaining drugs:***

    • From a friend or relative for free

    • Bought from a friend or relative

    • Taken without asking from a friend or relative

  • In the United States, at least half of all opioid related deaths involve a prescription opioid.

  • In 2015 in the United States, 276,000 adolescents (12 to 17 years old) were current nonmedical users of pain reliever, with 122,000 having an addiction to prescription pain relievers.*

  • In 2015, an estimated 21,000 adolescents in the United States had used heroin in the past year, and an estimated 5,000 were current heroin users. Additionally, an estimated 6,000 adolescents had heroin a heroin use disorder in 2014.*

  • People often share their unused pain relievers, unaware of the dangers of nonmedical opioid use. Most adolescents who misuse prescription pain relievers are given them for free by a friend or relative.*

  • The prescribing rates for prescription opioids among adolescents and young adults in the United States nearly doubled from 1994 to 2007. *

    *American Society of Addiction Medicine: Opioid Addiction 2016 Facts and Figures
    **New Mexico Department of Health
    ***National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Know the Signs

Many parents are often reluctant to believe that their children may misuse or develop an addiction to prescription opioids. But anyone who experiments with these powerful medications is at risk for negative consequences, including overdose and addiction.

Signs your child may be abusing or misusing opioids:

  • Pills or medication bottles are missing from your home

  • Taking medication in excess of how it has been prescribed

  • Abrupt changes in their finances

  • Dramatic mood changes

  • Lower grades, changes in friends, or changes in sleep or appetite

  • Loss of concern about appearance

  • Physical signs such as fatigue, confusion, weight loss, slurred speech, dizziness and changes in pupil size

SOURCE: MA DPH, Tips for Protecting Your Kids Against Addiction


Resources for More Information


Information About Addiction and Drug Prevention