ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The district attorney gave a bleak picture of the state of drug abuse in New Mexico Wednesday.
She is pointing to heroin and prescription drugs as the biggest problems.
District Attorney Kari Brandenburg says the war on drug is failing pointing to research that suggests the price of drugs is decreasing while the purity is increasing.
Brandenburg says heroin is the most charged drug in the D.A. Office.
She said last year there were about 560 cases of heroin trafficking and more than 630 of heroin possession.
Heroin use is also commonly linked with prescription drug abuse.
Law enforcement has seen users often start with prescription drugs, then switch to heroin because it has similar effects but it's cheaper.
Brandenburg says we need more innovative, research-based drug treatment programs to address the problem.
"It’s putting a lot of money up front and it's hard to measure how we get our benefit at the back end but i think it's clear that we do get a huge benefit at the back end if we can deal with these addiction issues early on,” Brandenburg said.
She says while incarceration is most often appropriate for violent, repeat offenders, drug treatment centers should be considered for young people committing low-level crimes.
Brandenburg also connected the drug problem in the state to the rate of property crimes offenses like car theft and home burglary.
Santa Fe police are working on a new way to put a stop to busy burglars. Instead of throwing them in jail they want to put them rehab.
A winter storm warning has been issued for Albuquerque and surrounding areas through 11 p.m. Thursday.
Tempers flared Wednesday night at the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education meeting as the firestorm over teacher evaluations and student testing continues.
An Albuquerque man says an emergency vet clinic turned away his dying dog because he didn't have enough cash in his pocket to pay to save him. The dog later died.
Closing arguments wrapped up Wednesday in the final sentencing phase of John McCluskey's federal murder trial. The same jury that convicted him of killing an Oklahoma couple, must now decide whether McCluskey should face the death penalty.
Today’s top weather and news stories with Elizabeth Alvarez, Matt Mauro and meteorologist Kristen Van Dyke.
* Snow Storm
* Road Conditions
* N.E. Heights Winter Storm
*Weather in the West
* Sheriff Houston
* Toys for Tots
* Winter Weather Coverage
* Board of Education Meeting
* DWI Laws
* Anthony Stanford Sexual Harassment