Navajo Lake is a 3800 feet long and 400 feet deep reservoir located in northeastern San Juan County, created from a dam completed in 1962.
The eggs and hoodoos in the Bisti Wilderness were formed in sand and silt revealed 73 million years ago when the Western Interior Seaway receded.
Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness (Bisti Badlands) is a 45,000-acre wilderness area full of rock formations made of sandstone, shale, mudstone, and silt.
The La Plata Mountains, seen from San Juan County, are a small subrange of the San Juan Mountains in sw Colorado, and includes Hesperus Mountain at 13,332 feet.
Angel Peak Scenic Area is located 15 miles south of Bloomfield in San Juan County, with over 10,000 acres of rugged terrain, badlands and deep canyons.
The Aztec Ruins National Monument, on 318 acres, consists of dwellings and sacred structures built by Ancient Pueblo Indians in the 12th and 13th Centuries.
Shiprock (Tsé Bitʼaʼí, "rock with wings") is a 27 million year old volcanic rock formation, designated as a National Natural Landmark, rising 1,583 feet above the desert.
The San Juan River is a 383 mile long major tributary of the Colorado River and a primary drainage for the Four Corners.

Deaths of Despair

A study by the Well Being Trust and the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care predicted that an additional 75,000 people will likely die across the U.S. from “deaths of despair” due to the social and economic consequences following the pandemic. According to the report, New Mexico has the highest rate of deaths from diseases of despair (80.9 per 100,000; NM-IBIS), and is second highest state in estimated additional deaths of despair over the next 10 years. San Juan County’s deaths of despair rate (114.5 deaths per 100,000; NM-IBIS) is significantly above New Mexico’s, and has increased considerably in recent years.

In 2018 in San Juan County, of the 1,138 deaths that occurred, 142 of them (12.5%) were “deaths of despair.” And, just over half (55%) of the deaths of despair are attributable to alcohol. Deaths of despair encompass those deaths which are due to suicide or drug overdose, and those which are 100% attributable to alcohol.


The rate of deaths of despair have increased dramatically over time, due primarily to the increase in alcohol-induced deaths.

Download Summary Sheet for Deaths of Despair

Components of Deaths of Despair

The three charts below show the comparative rates for San Juan County, New Mexico and the U.S. for each of the three components that make up the overall "deaths of despair." The alcohol-induced death rate in San Juan County is twice the state rate and six times the national rate. (See data sources below and data notes below for an explanation of what is included in the 100% alcohol induced rate.)
The source for the trends data for Suicide, Drug Overdose and Overall Deaths of Despair are form the New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-based Information System (NM-IBIS):

The trend data for Alcohol Induced deaths, as well as all comparative data are from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Wide-ranging ONline Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER), Detailed Mortality Files:

Note that CDC and NM-IBIS rates may vary slightly due to different population estimates used in rate calculations.
Alcohol-induced deaths include only those deaths which are directly attributable to alcohol, such as alcoholic liver disease, alcohol poisoning, and alcoholism. It does not include, for example, injury deaths for which alcohol was a contributing factor, which are included in the alcohol-related deaths (see Alcohol-Related Death).

For more information, see Alcohol-Related ICD Codes:

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