Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Number of N.M. Overdose Deaths Increased in '02.(Journal North)

Byline: Andy Lenderman Journal Staff Writer

Heroin Is Major Drug Contributor

More New Mexicans are dying from drug overdoses, the state Department of Health has reported, with Rio Arriba County continuing to lead the way in illicit drug deaths.

Prescription and illegal drugs, like heroin, killed 254 people in 2002, according to department statistics.

In 2001, 203 people died. And in 2000, 223 people died from overdoses.

"Most of the deaths are caused by multiple drugs, but in our experience in reviewing these deaths, heroin is the major drug contributor," said Dr. Michael Landen, a department epidemiologist.

The overdose death rate increased from 11. …

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