June 23, 2017 - Mental health issues and substance abuse or addiction are often intertwined. About one third of people experiencing mental illness also struggle with substance abuse. It was common for decades to treat these issues separately. That began shifting, especially after a medical paper published in 2000 called for treating addiction like any other chronic disease. New Mexico continues to have one of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths. Alcohol related deaths in our state have also hovered near the top in national rankings.
A report by the U.S. Surgeon General in 2016 noted that one in 7 people is expected to develop a substance abuse disorder at some point in their lives but only about one in 10 will get treatment. About 40 percent of these people will also have a mental health disorder, yet only about 48 percent will get treatment. So how do we integrate mental health and addiction treatment to help more New Mexicans? Correspondent Megan Kamerick examines these issues with a panel of local experts in the final installment of our series this month on current behavioral health services.
Dr. Anjali Taneja, executive director Casa de Salud
Jennifer Weiss-Burke, executive director, Serenity Mesa
Dr. Snehal Bhatt, medical director, Addiction and Substance Abuse Programs at UNMH
Lauren Reichelt, director of Health and Human Services, Rio Arriba County
The connection between mental health and substance abuse – Foundations Recovery Network
New Solution For Old Problem – Rio Grande Sun
Shutdown Leaves Teen Addicts Scrambling For Help – Albuquerque Journal
Fraction of Americans With Drug Addiction Get Treatment – New York Times
Facing Addiction In America – U.S. Surgeon General
Meth Gathers Alarming Momentum – Tucson Sentinel
HHS Secretary Tom Price Says 'Hundreds of Millions More' Already Spent To Fight Opioid Addiction – Politifact
ACA Repeal Would Have Big Impact on Recovering Addicts – NM Political Report
New Mexico Highlights Progress On Overdose Deaths – Las Cruces Sun-News