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Home News New Mexico’s alcohol-related death rate remains highest in the U.S.
Mari Anixter
505-827-2619 Office
505-470-2290 Mobile

New Mexico’s alcohol-related death rate remains highest in the U.S.


The New Mexico Department of Health on Friday announced that New Mexico continues to have the highest rate of alcohol-related death in the U.S., according to a recently published report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC report used data from 2011 through 2015, and the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) application. ARDI is a measure of total deaths associated with alcohol use, including those for which other causes of death were involved. Rates were calculated based on the updated ARDI, which uses alcohol attributable fractions for 58 conditions.

New Mexico’s alcohol-related death rate of 52.3 per 100,000 population was almost twice the US rate for the years 2011 through 2015. The average US alcohol-related death rate per 100,000 population was 27.4 for the same period.

In addition to alcohol-related death data, the CDC estimated years of potential life lost (YPLL), and years of life lost per alcohol-related death for the US and each state. Years of potential life lost is an estimate of the average years someone would have continued to live if they had not died prematurely.

During 2011-2015 New Mexico also had the highest estimated alcohol-related YPLL. New Mexico’s YPLL was 1,651.7 per 100,000 population, which was almost twice the US rate of 847.7 per 100,000 population.

Not only are we fighting to reverse life-threatening alcohol use, we are also fighting a stress-inducing pandemic that is contributing to increased alcohol consumption. We must use every tool available to reduce alcohol-related death and years of potential life lost due to excessive alcohol use,” said New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel.

Our efforts to reduce alcohol misuse include supporting policy development at both the county and state levels. We are grateful for every community partnership that supports our agency’s mission to improve health outcomes and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico,” said Kunkel.

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends evidence-based strategies for the prevention of excessive alcohol use. Recommended strategies include electronic screening and brief intervention (e-SBI), alcohol outlet liability, limiting days of sales, limiting hours of sales and regulation of alcohol outlet density.

Today, e-SBI is an effective screening and intervention tool available in many primary care clinics in New Mexico. Regarding the CPSTF recommendations above, the Department of Health continues to bring policy proposals to lawmakers to help reverse the impact of alcohol-related disease and death, and YPLL due to alcohol. The Department of Health encourages families and individuals with chronic alcohol use to speak with their primary care provider about improving personal health.

For recommended effective strategies to prevent excessive alcohol use, see The Community Guide of the Community Preventive Services Task Force for a related report, What works: Preventing excessive alcohol consumption; Evidence-based interventions for your community.


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