State health department’s annual scorecard shows alcohol-related deaths are up

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health has released its annual scorecard on the state’s health. The result: a mixed bag of good, bad, and ugly.

Looking through the scorecard, a few things are apparent. The number of teen pregnancies is down, while the amount of alcohol-related deaths are up. Both are issues the state has dealt with for years.

The number of alcohol-related deaths has skyrocketed from just 45 out of every 100,000 in 1999, to 66 out of every 100,000 in 2016.

New Mexico’s drug overdose death rate, on the other hand, has remained steady, sitting at nearly 25 per 100,000 people.

The state’s medical cannabis program is also working more efficiently. The scorecard shows that the majority of applicants were approved or denied within about 30 days of applying.

In 2016, less than 70 percent were getting a decision that early, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

According to the state’s scorecard for 2017, the department reports teen birth rates continue to drop from nearly 47 per 1,000 teenage girls in 2012 to 29 per 1,000 in 2016.

The scorecard is part of the department’s three-year plan to improve the state’s health.

To see the scorecard, click here.

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