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New Mexico Delegation Welcome $4.7 Million To Combat Opioid Overdose Epidemic

The delegation requested funding approval, noting that 48 percent of all drug overdose deaths in New Mexico were opioid overdose-related

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 2, 2019) – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján, Deb Haaland and Xochitl Torres Small, along with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, today announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $4,764005 to the New Mexico Department of Health to combat the opioid overdose epidemic.

The funding is part of the CDC’s Overdose Data to Action program, that focuses on the complex and changing nature of the opioid overdose epidemic and highlights the need for an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and cohesive public health approach.

In June, the federal delegation sent a letter to CDC Director Robert R. Redfield in support of the state’s application, noting that opioid overdose-related deaths currently accounted for approximately 48 percent of all drug overdose deaths in New Mexico. In 2017, New Mexico’s drug overdose death rate was about 13 percent higher than the national average.

The funding will help New Mexico strengthen surveillance and prevention measures across the state that include utilization of department data on opioids, supporting interventions, prescription drug monitoring programs, and improving provider and health system support.

"New Mexico communities have been among the hardest hit by the opioid abuse epidemic. But combatting this crisis without access to high-quality data is like fighting a battle blindfolded. In order to the stem the tide of opioid addiction that has devastated families and communities across New Mexico, we need to better understand the full scope of this crisis and focus resources on what works to save lives,” said Udall. “We all know of families with loved ones who have suffered from opioid abuse and struggle to break the cycle of addiction. This funding is an important step to scale up effective solutions and strategies that will get those New Mexicans facing addiction on the road to recovery. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll keep fighting for strong funding for prevention, treatment, and recovery services to tackle this crisis and put New Mexico communities on a path to healing.”

“The opioid epidemic has left too many New Mexicans with the heavy burden of seeking treatment and recovery resources – that are too often underfunded,” said Heinrich. “I’m proud to welcome this much-needed federal funding and I will keep doing everything I can to fight for the resources and policies we need to ensure every New Mexican who needs it can find addiction treatment services and lifesaving care.”

"Too many New Mexicans have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic," said Gov. Lujan Grisham. "My administration is committed to ensuring that every New Mexican who needs treatment can get it, and to implementing strategies that can prevent individuals from getting addicted in the first place. These funds will help us stop this epidemic at its source and work toward a future where no family will have to know the pain of losing a child, parent, or friend to addiction."

“The need to address the opioid epidemic in New Mexico cannot be understated when our communities continue to suffer from addiction and the loss of loved ones," said Luján. "I am proud to see substantial investments from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into our opioid treatment infrastructure – investments that will greatly help New Mexico advance a comprehensive treatment and prevention strategy. Addressing the opioid crisis continues to be a majority priority for me in Congress, and I’ll keep fighting for future investments and meaningful solutions.”

“In communities across New Mexico, especially in rural and Native communities, the opioid epidemic has devastated countless families. This much-needed federal funding will be directed to the front lines of the opioid crisis and support local treatment, recovery, and prevention efforts. I will keep doing everything I can to bring forward new resources and policies to help New Mexicans turn back the tide against the opioid epidemic,” said Torres Small.

“Anyone who is struggling with addiction should be able to access help when they need it, but the dismantling of New Mexico’s behavioral health system in 2013 and the worsening opioid crisis put our communities at a disadvantage to address this crisis," said Haaland. "So, the delegation and I worked together to deliver funding to help communities address the opioid crisis. Today we’re pleased to announce that help is on the way to assist with prevention and treatment efforts."