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Health Highlight Report for McKinley County

Drug Overdose Deaths: Deaths per 100,000 Population, Age-adjusted, 2013-2017

  • McKinley County
    95% Confidence Interval (8.6 - 16.5)
    Statistical StabilityStable
    New Mexico
    DNA=Data not available.
  • McKinley County Compared to State

    gauge ranking
    Description of Dashboard Gauge

    Description of the Dashboard Gauge

    This "dashboard" type graphic is based on the community data on the right. It compares the community value on this indicator to the state overall value.
    • Excellent = The community's value on this indicator is BETTER than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.
    • Watch = The community's value is BETTER than state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
    • Improvement Needed = The community's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
    • Reason for Concern = The community's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.

    The community value is considered statistically significantly different from the state value if the state value is outside the range of the community's 95% confidence interval. If the community's data or 95% confidence interval information is not available, a blank gauge image will be displayed with the message, "missing information."
    NOTE: The labels used on the gauge graphic are meant to describe the community's status in plain language. The placement of the gauge needle is based solely on the statistical difference between the community and state values. When selecting priority health issues to work on, a community should take into account additional factors such as how much improvement could be made, the U.S. value, the statistical stability of the community number, the severity of the health condition, and whether the difference is clinically significant.

Why Is This Important?

New Mexico's drug overdose death rate has been one of the highest in the nation for most of the last two decades. New Mexico's death rate has more than tripled since 1990. While deaths due to illicit drugs have remained steady during the past decade, deaths due to prescription drugs (particularly opioid pain relievers) have increased dramatically. In addition to the high death rates, drug abuse is one of the most costly health problems in the U. S. In 2007, it was estimated that prescription opioid abuse, dependence, and misuse cost New Mexico $890 million. ^1^ [[br]][[br]] ---- {{class .SmallerFont # Based on a national methodology derived by Birnbaum et al. (2011). "Societal costs of opioid abuse, dependence, and misuse in the United States." Pain Medicine, 12(4):657-667. }}

How Are We Doing?

Drug use can result in overdose death and is also associated with other societal problems including crime, violence, homelessness, loss of productivity and spread of blood-borne disease such as HIV and hepatitis. Unintentional drug overdose is the largest subset of total drug overdose death, accounting for 80-85% of drug overdose deaths in New Mexico. The other substantial cause of drug overdose death is suicide, or intentional self-poisoning, which accounts for 10-15% of all total drug overdose death in New Mexico. Poisoning has been the leading cause of unintentional injury in New Mexico since 2007, surpassing motor vehicle crash deaths, largely as a result of increased unintentional drug overdose deaths associated with prescription drug use. During 2010-2014, 53% of drug overdose deaths were caused by prescription drugs, while 33% were caused by illicit drugs, and 14% involved both types. Medical examiner data indicate that the most common drugs causing unintentional overdose death for the period were prescription opioids (e.g., methadone, oxycodone, morphine 48%), heroin (34%), tranquilizers/muscle relaxants (23%), cocaine (17%), methamphetamine (16%) and antidepressants (12%) (not mutually exclusive). In New Mexico and nationally, overdose death from prescription opioids has become an issue of enormous concern. Interventions are currently being formulated, assessed and implemented in New Mexico and in communities across the country, and may be contributing to decreases in death in the most recent data available. Hispanic men had the highest total drug overdose death rate during 2010-2014. The rates of total drug overdose death and unintentional drug overdose death among men were roughly 1.5 times that of women. Among women, drug overdose death from prescription drugs was more common than from illicit drugs across the age range. Illicit drugs were the predominant drug type causing death among males across the age range, and the rates were highest among males aged 25-54 years.


Age-adjusted to the US 2000 standard population. 

Data Sources

New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.   New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program,   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database (  

Measure Description for Drug Overdose Deaths

Definition: Drug overdose death is defined as the number of deaths caused by drug overdose per 100,000 population. Drug overdose deaths are those in which drug overdose is the primary cause, whether unintentional or intentional. Includes ICD-10 codes X40-X44, X60-X64, X85, and Y10-Y14 for underlying cause of death.
Numerator: Number of drug overdose deaths in New Mexico
Denominator: New Mexico Population

Indicator Profile Report

Deaths due to Drug Overdose (exits this report)

Date Content Last Updated

The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 17 October 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Fri, 21 Jun 2019 11:52:53 MDT