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Survey seeks to pinpoint abuse issues statewide


The Unified Prevention (UP!) Coalition for Doña Ana County and New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) Wellness, Alcohol and Violence (WAVE) Rx local drug prevention programs are jointly working to collect

survey data on local perceptions of and experiences with substance use and misuse.

The survey is available at www.tinyurl.com/NMCS2020.

The data collected in the UP! survey will be used by the Behavioral Health Services Division of the New Mexico Human Services Department and the division’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention. It will also be used by the UP! Coalition and WAVE Rx to determine substance-abuse prevention and treatment needs in Doña Ana County and New Mexico as a whole.

The NMCS is completely anonymous, voluntary, targets all residents 18 years of age or older and is bilingual. After completion, participants can enter to win a drawing for a $100 cash card.

Based on previous survey results, parties were identified as the main source of alcohol for 18-20-year-olds in Doña Ana County, which allowed the UP! Coalition and WAVE Rx to target efforts to reduce underage drinking parties.

Also, more than half of 2019 survey respondents reported that it was okay to provide alcohol to a minor for one reason or another. To address these illegal behaviors, UP! and WAVE Rx have worked to increase perceived risk of legal consequences for breaking alcohol-related laws and have partnered with schools and law enforcement to enforce local laws and policies. The amount of 18-20-year-olds accessing alcohol at parties decreased by 42 percent from 2018 to 2019, providing support for continued prevention efforts.

In 2019, 21 percent of NMSU students and 24 percent of community members received a prescription for painkillers in the year prior to taking the survey. Evidence-based prevention strategies prove that restricting social access to prescription painkillers curbs misuse. There was an increase of 24 percent in locking up meds and a decrease of 25 percent in sharing of prescription medication from 2018 to 2019.

For more information, contact Alyssa Myrick at 575-597-0042 or amyrick@swchi.org. Visit http://swchi.org/unified-prevention-coalition-for-dona-ana-county/.