New Opioid Prevention Policies Aim To Lower Addiction Rates, Connect Addicts With New Mexico Rehab Centers

The drug overdose death rate in New Mexico was the second highest in the nation in 2014, and spurred a number of statewide efforts aimed at preventing opioid addiction. Though data from the New Mexico Department of Health shows that nearly two-thirds of New Mexico counties experienced fewer overdose deaths in 2015, the state is continuing to work on lowering overdose rates across local communities. As a result, several new policies are being implemented in an effort to lower addiction rates and connect addicts with New Mexico rehab centers that treat opioid dependency.

If you’re struggling with heroin or painkiller addiction and live in New Mexico, know there are several nearby treatment centers that can help. Call our 24/7 helpline at 888-414-2380 for more information about rehab centers that can help you overcome opioid dependency and addiction.

New Mexico’s Efforts to  Prevent Opioid Addiction

Opioid Prevention Policies

The Prescription Monitoring Program helps doctors know whether patients already have access to opioids.

Governor Susana Martinez signed two pieces of legislature earlier in the year to prevent drug abuse and overdose deaths. Senate Bill 263 requires prescribers to check the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program before prescribing opioids to confirm patients lack existing opioid prescriptions. This effort is being made to crack down on doctor shopping, which is when patients obtain multiple prescriptions for painkillers from several doctors.

Martinez also signed a law that increases access to an opioid overdose reversal drug called naloxone. Previously, only emergency response teams, hospitals, and drug rehab centers had access to naloxone. Now, family members and those at risk for overdosing can go into any pharmacy and purchase naloxone to reverse an opioid overdose.

Brianna Harrand, statewide overdose prevention coordinator for the Epidemiology and Response Division of the New Mexico Health Department, says that while naloxone is more accessible to residents in need, pharmacies must take steps to integrate naloxone into their supply. At present, many state residents remain unaware about the availability of naloxone, and about how the drug can effectively reverse an overdose.

Using Naloxone to Lower Overdose Rates

Harrand adds that the new legislation surrounding naloxone use has extended to law enforcement, and that agencies throughout the state will soon be trained on using and carrying naloxone to help overdose victims. At present, officers from the Las Cruces Police Department lack access to naloxone, as do sheriff’s deputies in Doña Ana County. However, law enforcement from these two departments say fire teams and emergency medical services are often the first to arrive at overdose scenes, and have the skills needed to revive victims and connect them with rehab centers for substance abuse.

Naloxone is sometimes used at rehab centers that treat opioid addiction when addicts relapse and start using again. Relapse is common, and can happen to addicts during detoxification when opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings are at their worst. However, the staff at rehab centers can adjust treatments for addicts following an overdose to get them back on the path to sobriety and improved health.

If you or someone you love is suffering from heroin or opioid addiction, get help right away to lower the risk for an accidental overdose. Call our 24/7 confidential helpline at 888-414-2380 to learn more about New Mexico rehab centers that can help set you or your loved one on a healthy path to sobriety from opioids.

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