Local Leagues in New Mexico

Pie Chart of Alcohol-Related Deaths by Cause, 2006 New Mexico

Best Ways To Reduce Alcohol-Related Deaths
in New Mexico

This two year study was approved at the May 14-15, 2011 LWVNM Convention in Los Alamos.

Draft Report, posted 2.15.2013

Alcohol Study on KSFR-FM

Jan Bray, leader of the Alcohol Study, spoke on Santa Fe radio station KSFR Nov 13, discussing the findings of the League's Alcohol Study. Listen to the interview here!

Alcohol is a legal drug, with a long history of regulation. Reports show NM's total alcohol-related deaths have rated it in the top three states for the last 24 years. In New Mexico, policy changes have reduced alcohol-related deaths by intoxicated drivers, but alcohol-related damage is not confined to the highways. The highest number of alcohol-related deaths in New Mexico are due to chronic liver disease, comprising almost twice the number of deaths from motor vehicle crashes, as shown in the graph.

This study seeks to find the best ways to reduce total alcohol damage in New Mexico, human and economic / individual and societal. The focus of the study will be on reducing damage that is related to drunk driving, chronic diseases that are caused by heavy drinking, injuries due to impaired judgment, etc.

Join In!

Participants in this study are still needed! The study group meets regularly in Albuquerque and via teleconference. Community forums are being planned as well. To find out more and start receiving regular updates, contact the committee chair, Jan Bray (email). Your feedback about what part of this issue concerns you most is important now!

Download button for Adobe Acrobat Reader

(To read the PDF files, you can download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader:)

Questions to Guide the Study

  1. What is the impact of alcohol use and abuse on New Mexico communities?
  2. What are the barriers to reducing this impact?
  3. Are there policies and interventions that are effective? Ineffective? Harmful? How is effectiveness determined? What are the costs?
  4. What should be the priorities for reducing the human and economic costs?
  5. Do the current LWVNM positions support these priorities?

Did You Know?

Source: the UNM Department of Health and NM Prevention Research Center

  1. Government policies have successfully reduced DWI deaths.
  2. Alcohol-related death rates from causes other than DWI have increased.
  3. Alcohol problems in the state primarily involve binge and chronic heavy drinking, not alcohol dependence.
  4. Several independent expert reviews conducted in the last decade have made clear and consistent recommendations regarding the best evidence-based strategies to use for reducing excessive alcohol use and its consequences.
  5. Reducing excessive drinking can also help reduce risky behaviors among youth, including physical fighting, sexual activity, and driving after drinking.

Links To Resources to Guide Further Study