Alcohol Abuse Costs New Mexico $2.5 Billion Annually, Study Says

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 (PDF).

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