New Mexico will receive $4.8 million in federal dollars for opioid treatment and prevention this year. The money comes from the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill signed by President Obama in December that gives states new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
At just under $5 million, New Mexico’s share is smaller than many other states. But Rio Arriba County Human Services Director Lauren Reichelt says the funding could still give a much-needed boost to the state’s struggling treatment and recovery programs.
"Well I think it will certainly help. I certainly doubt it will eliminate the problem," Reichelt said. "That’s going to take a much more sustained effort over a period of time."
A state Human Services Department spokesman said in an email that the money will go to supplement the state’s existing opioid programs, to increase access to treatment, and to pay for addiction prevention and education programs, among other things.
The federal funding comes in two rounds, and New Mexico will get another $4.8 million to spend on addiction treatment and recovery next year.