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New Mexico's greatest shame

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I want to thank HCN for the excellent article on the Española Valley’s heroin problem (HCN, 4/03/06: Land of Disenchantment). Ten years ago, I was an archaeologist for the Española District. My survey partner and I would regularly find artifacts of heroin use on forest lands, as well as witness the heroin users themselves stumbling back into town after a three-day bender.

No one would believe me before when I told these stories about such a beautiful rural place: Now they’ll have to. Kudos to the young anthropologist who came up with the heartbreaking, yet obvious, truth: This is what happens when you turn Santa Fe into the World’s Largest Outdoor Shopping Mall for Texans and expect the natives to be content mopping up after them.

Suzanne Koehler

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