Families, Overdose Victims, and New Mexico Rehab Centers Receive Naloxone Training To Prevent Overdose Deaths
The Santa Fe Fire Department and an anti-drug and alcohol abuse group called Santa Fe Prevention Alliance recently partnered to train local community members on how to use naloxone. Naloxone, an opioid overdose antidote drug, is already being used by first responders, hospitals, and New Mexico rehab centers that treat opioid addiction. The purpose of the program is to teach the community how to prevent deadly overdoses, and help families and their loved ones overcome problems associated with opioid abuse.
Are you addicted to painkillers and live in New Mexico? Understand that you don’t have to overcome addiction on your own, and that help is just a phone call away. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 505-832-3082 for help with finding drug rehab centers that can successfully help you overcome opioid addiction.
The Role of Naloxone in Preventing Overdoses
Naloxone is a nasal spray that blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and reverses an overdose. Heroin and opioid overdose victims can often be revived with at least one dose of naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan. Victims revived using naloxone are given another chance to improve their lives by becoming healthier and overcoming opioid addiction.
Andres Mercado, fire department paramedic and program director for mobile integrated health, says the training program aims to develop a “community army of first responders” that can prevent overdose deaths. The program is the first of its kind in New Mexico, and so far has trained 14 local drug overdose victims and family members on naloxone use. The fire department and alliance group developed the program following an increase in opioid overdose deaths in Santa Fe County last year.
Participants also receive overdose prevention training, which helps families members and addicts learn how to lower the risk for an accidental overdose. Sometimes, opioid overdose victims include those who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain management and misuse their medications. The naloxone training course is intended to help all opioid users prevent overdoses — whether using prescribed or illicit opioids.
Combating the Opioid Epidemic in Santa Fe County
The New Mexico Health Department says the drug overdose death toll in Santa Fe County rose to 48 in 2015, which is three up from the previous year. Compared to other states, New Mexico has ranked at or near the top in deadly drug overdoses for the last twenty years. In an effort to combat the state’s opioid crisis, Governor Susana Martinez signed a law that requires prescribers to check the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program before prescribing opioids.
The New Mexico prescription monitoring program tracks patient prescriptions to help doctors practice sound prescribing methods based on a patient’s medication history. For instance, doctors can avoid prescribing additional painkillers to patients who already have opioid prescriptions from other doctors. The system is also intended to prevent “doctor shopping,” which is when patients visit multiple doctors in different healthcare networks to obtain multiple prescriptions for painkillers.
New Mexico rehab centers offer several treatments that can be tailored to individuals who suffer from opioid addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, call our 24/7 helpline at 505-832-3082 to learn more about local rehab centers that can help you or your loved one overcome dependency and addiction.
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