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Drug use among Carlsbad’s youth: what the data shows

The tragic overdose of a 12-year-old Brent Sullivan raised concern among the Carlsbad community about drug use in the area’s youth, as data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2019 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) showed New Mexico teens have higher rates of drug use than most of the country.

Fake oxycodone fentanyl tablets

In New Mexico, 17.6% of youth have taken some form of narcotic pain medication without a prescription in 2019 while the national average was 14.3%, according to the survey.

Roughly 14.2% of high school students in Eddy County have admitted to misusing prescription pain medications—the fifth highest in the state followed by Chaves County (14.1%), according to the 2021 New Mexico Substance Use Epidemiology Profile.

In Lincoln County the average was 12.8%, it was 11.8% in Otero County and 10.9% in Lea County.