In the US State of New Mexico, the rate of overdose deaths in the state increased over 60 deaths between the years 2001 and 2010. Health officials believe that the increase in overdose drug deaths is caused by prescription pain killers, whose sales during the same time period increased by 131 percent. The state reported that the number of deaths from overdosing on prescription drugs is higher than the number of deaths from overdosing on illegal drugs.
In a November 2011 report by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico has the highest overall drug overdose death rate in the United States.
Source: Dan Frosch, “Prescription Drug Overdoses Plague New Mexico,” New York Times, June 8, 2012.