Crime and Drugs
Recreational drug use is not uncommon in New Mexico—generally in a relatively benign form, with marijuana fairly widespread. But as in much of the United States, crystal methamphetamine is an epidemic, and some villages in northern New Mexico have also been devastated by heroin use, with overdose deaths at a rate several hundred times higher than the national average. A side effect has been a lot of petty theft, especially in isolated areas such as trailheads; always lock your car doors, and secure any valuables in the trunk. Don’t leave anything enticing in view.
Drinking and driving is unfortunately still very common, especially in rural areas; be particularly alert when driving at night. A distressing number of crosses along the roadside (descansos) mark the sites of fatal car accidents, many of which involved alcohol.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition