New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Alcoholism in New Mexico

Team: 15

School: Capital High

Area of Science: Public Health

Interim: Team Number: 15
School Name: Capital High School
Area of Science: Public Health

Problem Definition:
Early in history alcohol was a common beverage consumed by almost every settlement in Colonia America. During the Civil war alcohol played a big role in medicine. It served as an anesthetic drink that often was used in place of anesthesia. Alcohol was also used as a preventable measure for infection. For instance, when a soldier was wounded they would often have someone apply alcohol to the site of infection. Although alcohol had a great trajectory back in the days, today it can be considered as a threat to human kind.

Alcohol in the United States is the third leading preventable cause of death, and responsible for more than 75,000 deaths per year. New Mexico’s alcohol related death rates are higher than the nation’s. It is estimated
Chronic heavy drinking, the consumption of two or more drinks daily often results in alcohol-related chronic diseases such as Osteoporosis, Cirrhosis, stroke and more. On the other hand, binge drinking (the consumption of five or more drinks on a single occasion for men and four or more for women) is linked to alcohol-related injuries like vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides, DWIs’, falls and more. Overall alcohol can harm one’s health, social relationships, job, lifestyle and the ability to function well in society.

This is why our goal is to determine specific factors that contribute to the alcohol epidemic that our Land of Enchantment is currently facing. Hopefully with our research we will find solutions to better target this issue.

Problem Solution:
The solutions we are expecting to find are based on the data that we get from our community and research that is already made. From there we could begin brainstorming possible solutions that can help us better understand and handle the issue of alcohol. We also plan in using a computer model that will help us find a way to reduce the alcohol incidences.

Progress to Date:
As of today we have began gathering data by surveying students at our school. The students were surveyed on common alcohol questions like “How often do you drink alcohol? In total they 16 questions were asked to students and so far we have begun analyzing the data. We plan to create another survey for the staff in our school as well as a survey for our community. Our community survey will take place at any location in Santa Fe; especially places that we know sell alcohol beverages. Then we will begin asking our local police department for records if possible on drunk drives, the numbers of incidents due to alcohol consumption and the percentage of alcohol the individuals were caught with.

Expected Results:
The results we expect to find are possible solutions that will help us better understand why we have such high rates of alcohol. We hope that the computer program we end working with, will help us understand possible solutions and factors that can help reduce this alcohol epidemic.

Our solution then with the help of the police department and the department of health can be implemented to reduce the amount of deaths and health problems of alcohol related diseases and injuries.

Sources Of Information:

New Mexico Department of Health [internet]. 2011. Santa Fe (NM): [updated 2012 Jun; accessed Nov 29]. Available from:

National Institute On Drug Abuse [internet]. 2003. Bethesda (MD): [updated 2012 Dec; accessed 2012 Dec 9]. Available from:

Optum Health New Mexico [internet]. 2012. Santa Fe (NM): [accessed 2012 Dec 8]. Available from:

Team Members: Denise Pinela, Derrick Chavez, Lucas Apodaca, Orlando Dominguez, Anna Diaz
Sponsoring Teacher: Irina Cislaru

Team Members:

  Anna Diaz
  lucas apodaca
  Orlando Dominguez
  Denise Pinela
  Derrick Chavez

Sponsoring Teacher: Irina Cislaru

Mail the entire Team

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