KUNM

Rio Arriba County Commission Protests Federal Opioid Grant Program Focus

May 24, 2018

Rio Arriba County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday, May 24, protesting federal public health grants that are supposed to focus on white rural counties in the U.S.

Rio Arriba has had one of the highest drug death rates in the nation for decades, but no New Mexico counties were included in a list of counties that are the focus of the Rural Communities Opioid Response initiative. The program will award grants of $200,000 a year for three years for opioid addiction treatment and prevention.

Barney Trujillo is chairman of the Rio Arriba County Commission. "We hope our demographic of people is truly considered in all possibilities of help," he said.

Rio Arriba county is 71 percent Hispanic and 20 percent Native American, according to the Census.