Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
41Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Deadly Addiction Drug Series - Albuquerque Journal

Deadly Addiction Drug Series - Albuquerque Journal

Ratings: (0)|Views: 4,360|Likes:
Published by abqjournal

More info:

Published by: abqjournal on Aug 14, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/22/2013

pdf

text

original

 
WEATHER
D8
ARTS
F1
BOOKS
F4
CAREERS
H1
CLASSIFIEDS
G3
COMMUNITY
E3
CROSSWORD
E2, G3
DIMENSION
C6
EDITORIALS
B2
HOROSCOPE
E2
LIVING
E1
LOTTERY
A2
MONEY
C1
MOVIES
F5
NEW MEXICO
B1
OBITUARIES
B4
REVIEWS
F3, 5
REAL ESTATE
G1
SPORTS
D1
TRAVEL
E6
TV
D8
WEATHERLINE
821-1111
Albuquerque Journalonline
ABQjournal.com
INSIDE
H
ome
-o
 wned
 
 and
H
ome
-o
perated
 
m
 ade
 
in
 
tHe
U.S.a.
FINAL
 
★★★★
S
unday 
orning
, a 
uguSt
12, 2012
132
nd
ear 
, n
o
. 225
 
504 p
 ageS
 
in
40 S
ectionS
 
Copyright 
©
 
2012, Journal Publishing Co.
$1.50
THE SUNDAY JOURNAL
 
JOLLY GOOD
SPORTS
 
 
D1
Games of London a five-ring successdespite predictions of gridlock and chaos
NEW MEXICO
 
B1
Species savior
Ted Turner, N.M.’s biggest privateproperty owner, honored forhis conservation efforts
 
 $ 1, 2 8 3
YOUR SOURCE FOR BREAKING NEWS
A
s I write this, I holdin my hand a warm,fat breakfast burritowrapped in foiland brimming with cheeseand red chile. So, excuseany sloppy typos as we talkabout the New Mexico crisisde jour: The AlbuquerqueInternational BalloonFiestas’s food fight.The war that has been bub-bling like hot grated ched-dar for weeks now pits theboard that runs our annualgathering of gliding gondolasagainst the men and womenwho wrap scrambled eggs,spuds, cheese and chile inwarm tortillas and hand overthe bulging bundles of blissto hungry balloon watchersfor a week or so each October.If you haven’t been follow-ing this particular BalloonFiesta fiasco, allow me tocatch you up. The Balloon
By Kasie Hunt
The Associated Press
NORFOLK, Va. — Republican Mitt
Romney anointed Wisconsin Rep. Paul
Ryan, an ardent conservative and
devoted budget cutter, as his vice presi-dential running mate on Saturday, andthe two men immediately embarked ona tour of campaign battleground states
vowing to defeat President Barack
Obama and repair the long-ailing U.S.economy.America is “a nation
facing debt, doubt anddespair,” and a trans-formative change inleadership is vital,Ryan declared to aflag-waving crowd in
the first moments after
Romney introduced
him as his partner forthe fall campaign.
“Regrettably, Presi-dent Obama hasbecome part of theproblem ... and Mitt Romney is thesolution,” said the seven-term law-
A Real N.M. Brouhaha
Romney, Ryan Hit the Road
Dear Readers:
First in a
four-part series
Copyright © 2012 Albuquerque Journal 
By Mike Gallagher
 Journal Investigative Reporter
This isn’t Detroit. It isn’t Compton, Calif. We don’thave overcrowded and crumbling inner cities.But when the Centers for Disease Controllast November announced that death rates forprescription drugs had reached epidemic proportionsnationally, New Mexicowas at the top of the list.Our death rate fromprescription drugoverdoses surpassed evenour traditionally tops-in-the-nation death rate fromheroin overdoses.“This is the time tobring a sense of urgencyto parents, schools,coaches, physiciansand pharmacists,” U.S.Attorney Ken Gonzalessaid in an interview.“Rio Arriba, Taos,(Bernalillo County’s) SouthValley, the problem isingrained in the lifebloodof the community,”Gonzales said. “Its morethan a toehold, more thana foothold.”And Gonzales saidcommunities likeAlbuquerque’s NortheastHeights are in danger.“In communities like theHeights, as devastating as the overdoses have been,it hasn’t taken hold in that community, but we haveto act with urgency,” he said. “Or we’re going tolose it if we don’t.”Why New Mexico?Is it our border with Mexico? Is it the state’s highrate of poverty and the associated social problems?
New Mexico’slove affairwith drugs
More than twiceas manyNew Mexicansdie of drug overdosesas the nationalaverage (per capita).
See
 
ROMNEY
on
 
PAGE A6
I’ve been watching drugs killpeople for as long as I’ve beena reporter in New Mexico.In the 1970s, it was heroin.Then, it was speed, methamphet-amine produced by bikers called“crankster gang-sters.” In the1980s, it wascocaine. Laterin the decadeand into the1990s, it wascrack cocaine.Then, heroinmade a comeback.Then, metham-phetamine again, this time madeby Mexican cartels and calledICE. Then, oxycodone and hydro-codone. And now, we’re back toheroin again, with plenty ofprescription drugs mixed in.Interspersed were drugs likePCP, MDMA and so many othersI can’t even remember all ofthem.Over the next four days, I’mgoing to lay out some ugly sta-tistics and ugly stories aboutdrugs in New Mexico.Maybe we can start a discus-sion about what to do.Various events in New Mexico’sdrug saga have triggered pressconferences, police raids, head-lines and trials.But there has been one con-stant: People died.They died of overdoses. Theydied of AIDS from sharing nee-dles. They died of stab woundsand gunshots in arguments overdrug debts. Infants died fromneglect. Drug-addled teens diedin car crashes. And men intheir 50s died from bodies rid-dled with hepatitis.I don’t have a lot of answers,but I do know this: Thingsaren’t getting better. They aregetting worse. It’s time fora real conversation about howto break New Mexico’s deadlyaddiction.
 — Mike Gallagher
Aboutthe series
TODAY:
New Mexico’sDeadly Addiction
MONDAY:
Heroin —More Lethal Than Ever
TUESDAY
: PainkillersTurn Deadly 
WEDNESDAY
: WhatCan Be Done?The complete serieswill be posted on
ABQjournal.com
About the author
Mike Gallagher hasbeen an investigativereporter for theAlbuquerque Journalsince 1986. He hasbeen a reporter in NewMexico since 1975,covering everythingfrom Mexican drugcartels to politicalcorruption.
See
 
A REAL
on
 
PAGE A2
LeslieLinthicum
U
p
F
ront
RYAN: Nation“facing debt,doubt”
GOP presidential contender introduces running mate,vows to revitalize economy
OLYMPICS
 W E I G H T L O S S S U R G E R Y P R O G R A M
Surgical Associates
IN SANTA FE(505)913-3975 WWW.STVIN.ORG/BARIATRIC
THREE LAPAROSCOPICSURGERY OPTIONS
 
A4
 
The Sunday Journal
 
DEADLY ADDICTION
 
Albuquerque,
 
August
12, 2012
Is it the criminal justicesystem?While they may all play arole, the phrase used overand over again in responseto Journal questions overthe past eight months was “aperfect storm” that is leavinga trail of death in its path.It turns out that in additionto all of New Mexico’s socialproblems, the state’s deadlylove affair with drugs isfueled by three factors — price, purity and availability.Just how cheap and purewas illustrated last yearduring a quick and dirtyfederal task force undercoveroperation that arrested 11user/dealers in the areaaround Eldorado HighSchool in Albuquerque’sNortheast Heights.
n
Undercover agentsbought grams of heroin for$100 — the same price as in1977.
n
The purity of the heroinagents purchased was threeto four times the purity levelof heroin sold just 10 yearsago.
n
The heroin was cheaperthan prescription opiatepainkillers on the street,which average $1 permilligram. That’s $10 for a10-milligram hydrocodonepill.Federal drug agents saythe purity of the heroin andavailability of prescriptionpainkillers allow it to besmoked or snorted.“Kids think they’re not aheroin addict if they’re notusing a needle,” one federaltask force agent said.And those kids can buyheroin or prescription drugsnear their high schools,as federal agents provedin last year’s rounduparound Eldorado HighSchool — several of thosearrested were formerstudents supporting theirown addiction by selling toyoungsters.Attorney Joseph Riggshas represented criminaldefendants for more than 30years, including many drugaddicts.“What is shockingtoday is the frighteningavailability of heroin andpainkillers,” Riggs said. “It isa communitywide problem,no longer confined to specificneighborhoods.”Dr. George Davis overseespsychiatric services at thestate Children, Youth andFamilies Department’ssecure lockups inAlbuquerque.“The opiate overdose, callit suicide, rate is just anindicator of neglect, childabuse and broad socialproblems,” Davis said.“Abuse by parents usingdrugs drives our numbers of residents.”And by any measure, NewMexico’s drug problem iswidespread.Among those measures:
n
Teen drug use inNew Mexico — heroin,methamphetamine andcocaine — is double andtriple the national average,depending on the drug.
n
The Department of Health estimates there are25,000 needle-using addictsin the state.
n
Department of Justicestatistics show that morethan half of the New Mexicoinmates in state prisons andlocal jails are arrested fordrug-related crimes.
Highest death rate
In 2008, New Mexico hadthe highest heroin andprescription-drug overdosedeath rate in the country.From 2000 to 2008,overdose deaths from opiatestripled.Those numbers are notmanipulated or estimated.They are counted in bodieson an autopsy table and intoxicology reports.The conventionalwisdom — testimony at theLegislature, interviews withlaw enforcement, families of victims — can lead the publicto believe this epidemic isisolated to young people intheir teens or early 20s.Heroin and prescriptiondrug overdoses do, tragically,kill bright young people.While their tragedies grabheadlines, teenagers abusingdrugs are not the causeof New Mexico’s nationalstanding in overdose deaths.The vast majority of NewMexicans dying of drugoverdoses are ages 25 to 64.Out of 2,200 drug-induceddeaths from 2005 to 2009, just over 1,900 were men andwomen 25 years or older.The median age of thosewho died of drug overdoseswas 43.7 years.Breaking the statisticsdown further shows thatheroin addicts tend to die of overdoses in their mid-30s.Prescription drugoverdoses kill more people intheir mid-50s.That indicates toepidemiologists whostudy the problem thatpeople become addicted toprescription drugs at anolder age, probably becauseof health problems.Heroin addicts tend to startusing the drug at a youngerage, in their late teens andearly 20s.The problem of widespreadprescription or illegal druguse by teens is a long-termissue leading to the creationof another generation of addicts.
Two drug problems
Prescription opioidpainkillers and heroin posetwo separate problems forlaw enforcement.Heroin traffickers operatecriminal organizationshandling everything fromthe cultivation of poppies inMexico to the sale of herointo user/dealers throughoutthe state.Painkillers aremanufactured in the UnitedStates legally and distributedlegally through a regulatedsystem. Prescription drugsbecome illegal only when thedrugs are diverted out of thesystem.“We are, from anenforcement and prosecutionviewpoint, designed todeal with drug traffickingorganizations,” U.S. AttorneyGonzales said. “Prescriptiondrugs present a differentdynamic.”Keith Brown, assistantspecial agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcementoffice in Albuquerque, putit this way: “There is noprescription drug cartel totarget.”But the two drug problemsdo overlap.People who becomeaddicted to prescriptionopiates often find they canno longer get access to thedrugs, or their habits havebecome too expensive.Heroin is often a cheaperand readily obtainablealternative.“You don’t have to lookfor heroin in New Mexico; itwill find you,” Mike Salinas,a heroin addict trying toget clean, said in a recentinterview.Among factorscontributing to heroinoverdose deaths:
n
Multigenerationalheroin addiction is partof the cultural fabric of communities in the RioGrande Valley.
n
Mexican cartels havebeen marketing cheap,high-quality heroin toyounger users in affluentneighborhoods.
n
Heroin production inMexico has been at an all-time high over the past fouryears.
‘Pill-popping culture’
Federal narcotics agentsraid drug dealers, not thefamily medicine cabinet.As a society, we’ve beentrained to take pills, fromdaily vitamins to cold tablets.“We’re a pill-poppingculture,” Jennifer Weissof the Heroin AwarenessCommittee said.“Once a kid gets addicted toprescription pills, it is a veryshort leap to heroin.”“The development of aprescription drug habit issubtle,” the DEA’s Brownsaid. “Parents and familymembers have no idea whatto look for.”Dr. Harris Silver knows just how subtle painkillerscan be.More than 20 years ago,they almost destroyed hiscareer as a medical doctor,and now he spends his timeeducating other doctors,legislators, parents andanyone who will listen aboutthe dangers of prescriptionpainkillers.“People don’t realize thatone in 20 patients receivinga prescription for opiatepainkillers is at high risk foraddiction,” Silver said.“It takes 11 days of dailyuse for someone to startshowing signs of withdrawalif they stop taking thepills,” Silver said. “That’show quickly addiction canhappen.”Silver was the lead analyston a legislative drug taskforce report prepared by TheRobert Wood Johnson Foun-dation Center for Health Pol-icy at the University of NewMexico.Silver found thesecontributing factors forprescription drug overdosesin New Mexico:
n
Pharmaceuticalcompanies deliberatelydownplayed the addictivequalities of prescriptionpainkillers in promotingtheir use for more than adecade, until sued by theDepartment of Justice. Thelawsuits were settled foralmost $1 billion.
n
State Medical Boardrules around the country,including New Mexico, putdoctors in a position in whichundertreating pain by failingto prescribe pain medicationconstituted malpractice. Asa result, doctors sometimesprescribed more opioidpainkillers than necessary.
n
Patients, and for teenpatients their parents, areunaware or uneducatedabout the dangers of prescription opioidpainkillers.
n
Well over half of prescription painmedications used illegallycome from family members,according to federal studies.“We are too casual in theuse of pain medication,”Silver said. “There are riskswith every patient receivinga prescription, and thoserisks can be extreme.”
Positive steps
The news isn’t all bad.At the state and local level,some positive steps havebeen taken and are showingsome results. Among them:
n
The number of drugoverdose deaths were lowerstatewide in 2009 and 2010,down from a high of 500 in2008 to 466 in 2009 and 477 in2010.
n
The State Board of Pharmacy voted in Juneto increase monitoringof prescription opioidpainkiller drugs.
n
The State MedicalBoard is making voluntaryguidelines on opioid drugprescriptions mandatory fordoctors and others.
n
Harm-reductionprograms run by the StateDepartment of Health aremaking more inroads intocommunities where heroinuse has been widespread fordecades.
n
A U.S. Senate committeeis investigating financial tiesbetween the pharmaceuticalindustry and “pain” lobbyistorganizations that push backagainst regulators’ attemptsto rein in the growth inthe use of painkillingmedications.
n
Albuquerque MayorRichard Berry and mayorsaround the country have joined in a campaign toeducate parents aboutsafeguarding prescriptionmedications.
n
Parents of teens who diedof drug overdoses or whoare fighting addiction have joined together to educateother parents and push forprograms and reforms — much like Mothers AgainstDrunk Driving did decadesago to fight the state’sdrunken driving problem.“I don’t need to talk to agymnasium full of kids,” theDEA’s Brown said in a recentinterview. “I need to talk togymnasiums full of parents.They’re the ones we need toeducate.”That’s not just a coptalking.Mike Para works for theYDI Inc. Gang InterventionProgram and has thetattooed “cred” and musicchops to talk with any teen.“Parents. Parents. Parents.They’re the ones who have tolisten. They’re the ones whocan provide the structurethese kids need. They’re theones we need to be talkingto.”
SOURCE: National Vital Statistics System, 2008
5.5 - 9.49.5 - 12.312.4 - 14.814.9 - 27.0
DRUG OVERDOSE DEATH RATES BY STATE PER 100,000 PEOPLE (2008)
Rate per 100,000 people(adjusted for age)
MARICTNJMDDCDEMENHVTNYPAMIINOHWVVANCSCFLGAALTNKYWIILMOARMSLAMNIANDSDNEMTWYIDUTCOKSWAORNVCAAK AZNMTXOK HI
 
Price, Purity Fuel N.M. Love Affair With Drugs
Out of 
2,200
drug-induced deaths from 2005 to 2009, just over
1,900
were men and women
25 years old or older
.
051015202530New MexicoUnited States
Note: Deaths per 100,000 population, age-adjusted to the 2000 standard U.S. population.
 SOURCE: New Mexico Department of Health
DRUG OVERDOSE DEATH RATES IN THE U.S.AND NEW MEXICO, 1999-2008
1999200020072001200220032004200520062008
 
 
San JuanRio ArribaTaosColfaxUnion McKinleySandovalSantaFeLosAlamosMoraHardingSan MiguelQuayCurryGuadalupeDe BacaTorranceValenciaBernalilloCibolaCatronSocorroLincolnChavesRooseveltGrantSierraOteroLeaEddyLunaHidalgoDoñaAna
* All rates are per 100,000, age-adjusted tothe 2000 U.S. standard population.
 SOURCE: New Mexico Substance Abuse Epidemiology Profile
DRUG-INDUCED DEATH RATES* BY COUNTY, NEW MEXICO, 2005-2009
County not included due to the smallnumber of deaths during reported period.Less than 21.421.4 - 32.1Greater than 32.1
11.421.4
10.811.412.513.514.015.115.616.116.316.418.118.820.020.222.423.123.524.024.825.826.526.627.928.051.1Luna (13; 0.6%)Curry (26; 1.2%)Roosevelt (11; 0.5%)McKinley (47; 2.1%)San Juan (90; 4.1%)Cibola (21; 1%)Sandoval (93; 4.2%)Dona Ana (155; 7.1%)Lea (45; 2%)Lincoln (20; 0.9%)Santa Fe (141; 6.4%)Otero (63; 2.9%)Colfax (15; 0.7%)Quay (10; 0.5%)Socorro (21; 1%)Sierra (16; 0.7%)San Miguel (35; 1.6%)Grant (37; 1.7%)Taos (40; 1.8%)Valencia (96; 4.4%)Bernalillo (882; 40.1%)Chaves (82; 3.7%)Torrance (26; 1.2%)Eddy (70; 3.2%)Rio Arriba (112; 5.1%)
N.M. (2,199; 100%)
(Number of deaths; % of statewide deaths)
U.S., 2003-2007
 
United StatesNew Mexico
Albuquerque HighAtrisco HeritageCibolaDel NorteEldoradoHighlandLa CuevaManzanoRio GrandeSandiaValley Volcano VistaWest Mesa
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT DRUG USE, 2009
Percentage who reported using heroin, cocaine,or meth one or more times
heroincocainemeth3%3%4%5%13%6%4%15%5%7%19%9%5%14%8%9%17%11%4%11%7%6%13%7%7%8%4%16%7%9%13%9%7%14%9%7%13%7%7%11%8%9%16%10%13%
SOURCE: New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey, 2009; UNM Center for Education and Policy Research
 
The Sunday Journal
DEADLY ADDICTION
 
Albuquerque,
 
August
12, 2012
 
A5
When the HeroinAwareness Committeelooked around at what itcould do to spare otherparents and teens the painof addiction and death, itwould have been easy to getoverwhelmed.“There were a lot of needs,” Jennifer Weiss, oneof the founders, said.Education was a glaringdeficiency. Getting the stateLegislature’s attention wasanother.Weiss andthe otherparentsforming thecommitteehavechildreneither lostto drugoverdosesor who inrecovery.Like theparents inMothersAgainstDrunkDriving, they have politicalcredibility. Politicians of both parties listen.Whether they have thelong-term staying power of MADD remains to be seen,but a long-term goal theyhave decided to address isthe lack of drug addictiontreatment programs forteens.“The resources simply arenot adequate,” Weiss said.“Inpatient beds are limitedin New Mexico and out-of-state care is expensive.Thirty to forty thousanddollars for a 30-day stay isout of reach.”The New Mexico DrugPolicy Task Force, withmembers appointed bylegislators and Gov. SusanaMartinez, found:
n
New Mexico ranksNo. 1 in the nation, “by far,”for unmet treatment needsfor illicit and prescriptiondrug abuse for the 12 to 17age group.
n
The state andmunicipalities havesubstantially reducedfunding for preventionprograms.
n
There are not enoughtrained professionals tostaff rehabilitation facilitiesthat are needed but don’texist.
n
Inpatient addictiontreatment is out of reachof many families becausemajor insurers andMedicaid don’t pay forresidential treatment.“We are developing a planfor an adolescent treatmentcenter,” Weiss said. “Itwill be presented to Gov.Martinez and AlbuquerqueMayor (Richard) Berry.”The goal, and it may be along-term one, is to create a“comprehensive system” of care for teen drug addicts,she said.“It is much harder foradults to get clean,” Weisssaid. “It makes sense toattack the problem at anearlier age.”
Getting treatment
One of the ironies in thisequation is that it is easierto get drug treatment onceyou’ve been arrested.That conclusion didn’tcome from some activistfor legalizing drugs. Itcame from the head of theovercrowded MetropolitanDetention Center, DirectorRamon Rustin.“We’re back-end loaded,”Rustin said. “You enter thecriminal justice system,and you receive treatment,but the arrest record canmake staying clean thatmuch harder.“It is harder to get a job. Harder to find anapartment,” he said. “A lotof places won’t rent to aperson with a drug arrest.”“We can detox a heroinaddict in two weeks,”Rustin said. “They get outsober but with no job andno place to live. What theyhave is the drug.”There are 300 to 400inmates each month whoenter the drug and alcoholdetox programs in the jail.“That’s a significantnumber, and only thosewith the most extremeaddiction go into theprograms,” he said.Rustin’s boss, DeputyCounty Manager TomSwisstack, said it maynot be a question of spending more money, butrearranging how and wheremoney is spent.“If you move resources tothe front end of the criminal justice system, literallythe booking desk, we maybe able to divert peopleinto programs they need,”Swisstack said.
— Mike Gallagher
Treatment ForTeens Lacking
More than half of the New Mexico inmates in state prisonsand local jails are arrested for drug-related crimes.*
* Department of Justice statistics
His friends call him “Gio,” and so will we.He has a lot of weight to carry, and havinghis name in the newspaper would only add tothat weight.Gio, 15, has two early memories.“I was about 5. We lived in an apartmentnear the State Fairgrounds, I was trying toget into the apartment and couldn’t open thedoor,” he said.He remembers running to the apartment of a neighbor, who came to his aid and helpedopen the door. They found Gio’s motherpassed out from using heroin.Another time, when he was a little older,he and his younger brother were playing inthe median of a busy street near East Centrallate at night. His mother was at an apartmenthigh on heroin.He remembers the back of the police car.His mother was in the back of another policecar.Then, there is the memory of coming homewhen he was 11 and finding his mother deadof a heroin overdose.He called the ambulance.“Heroin is really bad stuff,” Gio said in aninterview at the YDI Inc. Gang InterventionProgram. Present were program directorJudy Pacheco, a counselor and hisgrandmother.Gio’s grandmother said, “I did what I could.Took her to rehab. Took her to the emergencyrooms. Sometimes she went to jail, and thedealers were waiting for her, knocking on herdoor, when she got out.“They should charge heroin dealers withmurder; they’re killing kids,” she said.Gio looked at her and said, “The kids killthemselves.”He came to YDI because it had a hip-hopstage and recording program. He likes tosing and has a part in a recorded hip-hoperacalled “Chasing Nowhere.”“I wanted to perform,” he said. “I found outabout it from a friend.”He’s one of more than 350 kids YDI’s GangIntervention program reaches each year.About 25 percent are referred by the JuvenileCourt, but most are walk-ins like Gio.Getting kids moving in a positive direction,instead of a self-destructive one, is the goal,said Rusty Rutherford, an interventionspecialist.“It doesn’t matter what side of town you’refrom — preppy white kids from the Heightsor gang members from the Valley,” he said.“We all have differences, and we all haveproblems.”
‘At-risk’ teen
By any definition, Gio is an “at-risk” teen.School, to say the least, hasn’t been easy.But his grades are getting better.He was wearing an ankle bracelet monitorat the time of the interview, because of somerecent unstated trouble with the law.“Its pretty easy to get into trouble,” Giosaid. “You don’t have to go looking for it. It just happens.”But if you think he’s unique, take a look ata series of maps prepared by the Universityof New Mexico Center for Education PolicyResearch called Mapping The Landscape.Peter Winograd, the center’s head, saysit paints a bleak portrait of the state’seducational system and the future for manyNew Mexico kids:
n
Truancy rates for many schools areover 30 percent. Students with more than 10absences are considered truant.
n
Dropout rates of more than 30 percent.
n
Drug use two or three times the nationalaverage.
n
Poverty rates in some areas above 30percent.Leaf through it, and the statistics getmore depressing with each page, somethingWinograd freely admits.“It is a difficult picture to look at,”Winograd said. “But you have to understandthe extent of the problem before you canmove forward.”Solutions may not lie in spending moremoney, but in how to use the money available,Winograd said.“You need to start the discussionsomewhere,” he said.But he said he isn’t a defeatist.“In my lifetime, the Berlin Wall wastorn down and segregation was broken,”Winograd said. “Those were significantachievements. This lays out anotherchallenge.”
— Mike Gallagher
For At-Risk Teenager, It’s‘Easy To Get Into Trouble’
When she and her friendsstarted snorting “chiva” inhigh school, Alma Cortessays they told themselvesthey weren’t doing heroin.“It was OK — we weren’tsticking a needle in ourarms,” she said in a recentinterview. “We were naivethat way.”That was 17 years ago inGrapevine, Texas, and heroinwas the drug of choice at herhigh school.“The first time I used, Ithrew up, got sick all thenext day,” Cortes said. “Butthe high was so intense, Ikept using it. The stuff wasso pure, there were a lot of ODs.”Since then, it has been17 years of using heroin,kicking her addiction andusing heroin again. Shefigures she’s kicked her habit10 times and fallen back intothe habit 11 times.“I’d be clean for years andthink, ‘I can get high justthis once’, but you don’t, youlike it too much,” she says. “Iwould stop and start. Eachtime, it was harder to stop.”Now she’s 6
½
monthspregnant.“I’ve taken college biologyclasses. I know what happensto the babies of addicts. Ididn’t want that to happen. Itried never to get pregnant.”But about five monthsago she realized she waspregnant.“I started to try and kickon my own. Not use for threeor four days, or just enoughto keep from getting sick.“I knew what it was goingto do to a baby. I didn’t wantto have a baby in addiction.”Living in Roswell, she hadto travel to Carlsbad to see adoctor who was approved touse Suboxone, a drug usedto help addicts stop usingheroin.“This is how crazyaddiction is,” Cortes said.“You know that you can’tget high from heroin whenyou take Suboxen, but guesswhat, I had to try it. Triedit twice. Didn’t work. Howcrazy is that?”Because she had “dirty”urine tests, her doctor saidhe couldn’t keep treating her.“He was very frustratedwith me,” she said.Two months ago, shedecided to seek out aninpatient program, and hermother took her to UNMHospital, where she wasexamined and evaluated.She’s now at the Milagroprogram for pregnant addictsrun by Bernalillo County’sDepartment of SubstanceAbuse Programs, the stateDepartment of Healthand the University of NewMexico.There are eight beds,and mothers of newbornsare allowed to stay in thefurnished apartments.She’s on Methadone, butthe doctors tell her theyknow how to deal with babiesborn addicted to methadone.“It wasn’t just luck to getin here; it was a miracle.I’m getting counseling. I’mgetting the checkups. I’m ina safe place,” she said. “NowI’ve got to commit to beingclean for my baby boy.”She hasn’t decided on thebaby’s name yet.
— Mike Gallagher
Heroin’s HighWas Too Hard To Resist
PAT VASQUEZ-CUNNINGHAM/JOURNAL
A pregnant Alma Cortes, 34, talks about being a heroin addict and expectant mother at Metropolitan Assessment and Treat-ment Services, where she is enrolled in the Milagro program for pregnant addicts.WEISS:Foundingmember of the HeroinAwarenessCommittee
PAT VASQUEZ-CUNNINGHAM/JOURNAL
Fifteen-year-old Gio, who lost his mother to a heroin overdose, works on his hip-hop singing atYouth Development Inc.’s Gang Intervention Program.
n
 But expectant momsays she’s committed to kicking the habit 
n
Parents group focuses on the lack of programs for  youths
PAT VASQUEZ-CUNNINGHAM/JOURNAL
YDI’s Rusty Rutherford leads a rap session withteens as part of the nonprofit’s gang interven-tion outreach program.

Activity (41)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
Remedy_Land added this note
I really enjoyed reading this pdf
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
mrzhaowendang liked this
earthworker liked this
igusuk liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->