KUNM

Opioid

Ed Williams

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/5 8a: The opioid epidemic—and what to do about it—has become a national conversation in recent years. Congress has passed bills trying to help, President Trump appointed a task force to outline solutions to the epidemic, and the New Mexico legislature has passed several bills aimed at reducing the death toll from overdoses.

But have those efforts gotten help to the people that need it? What do New Mexico’s communities need to win their fight with opioid addiction?

Ed Williams / Public Health New Mexico

The opioid epidemic has racked up enormous costs for local governments in New Mexico, as cities and counties struggle to pay for medical care, law enforcement and treatment services for people dealing with addiction.

In recent years a growing number of local governments have been taking opioid manufacturers and distributors to court over those costs—including Mora County northeast of Santa Fe. 

Ed Williams

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. 

Ed Williams

When someone addicted to heroin or prescription wants to quit, the first step is to find a detox center where they can safely go through withdrawals from the drug, but people in northern New Mexico who are trying to get help often can’t find it.

Ed Williams / KUNM

When a public health crisis gets out of control, it can overwhelm law enforcement agencies. That’s what’s happened with the Española Police Department as it deals with a decades-old opioid epidemic and all the crime that goes with it. 

Ed Williams/KUNM

Research shows early childhood education is one of the most effective ways to prevent drug use later in life. That’s especially important in Rio Arriba County, where an opioid epidemic has been raging for decades. 

Creative Commons / Pixabay

Española  has had one of the highest rates of heroin addiction in the country for decades. It’s a public health crisis that can create particular challenges for pregnant moms and the doctors that treat them.  

Ed Williams

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that could bring new money to fight the nation’s opioid epidemic. It’s a measure that could have big impacts in New Mexico.

New Mexico Department of Health

Lawmakers are trying to stop the planned closure of a youth detox center in Albuquerque. The Turquoise Lodge detox service was funded by the state three years ago, but now the Department of Health says not enough kids are using it and the money needs to be redirected to services for adults.

Austin Ban via unsplash.com

A Rio Arriba County detox center is getting $45,000 from a state-funded grant. The county’s Community Health Council voted to award the funds Wednesday.

Supertheman via Wikipedia / Creative Commons license

Congress is considering legislation that will make it easier to treat people for opioid addiction. And doctors in Rio Arriba County—an area hard-hit by drug addiction—are hoping the new laws will provide relief to patients there.

Intropin via Creative Commons

The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting a nine percent drop in drug overdoses in 2015.

Psychonaught / Public Domain license via Wikipedia

Bernalillo County Commissioners are declaring an emergency over the county’s high level of opioid overdoses. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Ads raising awareness about the overdose-reversing drug naloxone will be appearing on the sides of buses around Albuquerque. It’s available over-the-counter now—but only at pharmacies willing to carry the medication.

Centers for Disease Control

New data from the Centers For Disease Control conclude that nationally, overdose deaths among women have been on the rise since 1999; and that since 2007, more women have died from overdoses than motor vehicle-related injuries.

However, officials in New Mexico say those trends are nothing new in the state.