Substance abuse

Hooligan Island; Tree-hoppers in Joshua Tree; Kanye for president?
Hooligan Island; Tree-hoppers in Joshua Tree; Kanye for president?
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
West Obsessed: How Forest Service agents busted a maple-poaching gang
West Obsessed: How Forest Service agents busted a maple-poaching gang
The writers and editors of High Country News discuss Washington’s timber crime.
West Obsessed: How pain pills spread in one Colorado town
West Obsessed: How pain pills spread in one Colorado town
The staff of High Country News discuss the cycle of addiction in the rural West.
When private pain becomes a community problem
When private pain becomes a community problem
How a rural clinic sparked a small-town addiction crisis.
A different type of addiction
A different type of addiction
In Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, alcohol claims more lives than other drugs, but now an alternative treatment program could help.
Inside a small-town addict’s struggle to get clean
Inside a small-town addict’s struggle to get clean
Could an innovative new program help turn the tide on opioid addication in rural New Mexico?
How to find its high-risk drug users before it’s too late
How to find its high-risk drug users before it’s too late
Rio Arriba’s health care providers are pulling together to treat patients and prevent overdoses.
A community curbs pain pill abuse, but heroin addiction grows
A community curbs pain pill abuse, but heroin addiction grows
Interventions intended to reduce over-prescription of pain medicine may unintentionally be feeding a rise in heroin use in southwest Colorado.
How a police chief used compassion to combat his community’s drug problem
How a police chief used compassion to combat his community’s drug problem
The approach taken by Gloucester, Massacusetts, might falter in New Mexico, where it’s desperately needed.
Española has tried everything to stop drug overdoses
Española has tried everything to stop drug overdoses
What we can learn from the fight against addiction in a small New Mexico town.
The San Luis Valley’s controversial needle exchange idea
The San Luis Valley’s controversial needle exchange idea
Local leaders contemplate a program to address drug-associated health risks with a rocky history.
Incremental progress, rather than quick fixes, will help the Southwest overcome substance abuse
How to get a drug treatment that works into every medicine cabinet
How to get a drug treatment that works into every medicine cabinet
State agencies are having success countering New Mexico’s overdose epidemic by increasing access to opiate antidotes.
Tracing the West’s heroin highways
Tracing the West’s heroin highways
Illicit drugs move through this region at farther distances and greater speeds.
Pain pill addiction has helped precipitate a rise in heroin abuse West-wide
Pain pill addiction has helped precipitate a rise in heroin abuse West-wide
Near Sacramento, California, nearly a dozen people died from opioids in recent weeks.
Land of Disenchantment
A native New Mexican tries to understand the heroin epidemic that is destroying the Hispano community of the Espanola Valley
Tierra o Muerte
As the outside world bullies its way into northern New Mexico, the native Hispano culture has begun to fray, and today the region has the highest rate of heroin addiction in the country
Methamphetamine fuels the West’s oil and gas boom
In Craig, Colo., Moffatt County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead fights an epidemic of methamphetamine use on the oil and gas rigs
Meth invasion
As methamphetamine moves into the small, isolated towns of the rural West, the waste left by its manufacture pollutes the environment while the drug's abuse and the traffic in it strain the resources of local law enforcement and social services.