Washington, D.C. – Today, New Mexico’s congressional delegation announced nearly $3 million in Health and Human Services (HHS) funding to fight the opioid crisis in New Mexico. The $2,770,397 in funding comes from grants released to states through the State Opioid Response Grant Program.
“Substance abuse knows no boundaries, and the opioid epidemic has left its tragic mark on all communities across New Mexico, including urban, rural, and Tribal areas,” said Sen. Tom Udall. “Federal funding is an important step in bolstering prevention efforts but in order to truly tackle this public health crisis, we must take much bigger strides in making long-term investments that treat addiction as an illness. It’s essential that we continue investing in prevention, treatment, and recovery services that will help save lives and put New Mexicans facing addiction on the road to recovery, especially in economically struggling, rural and Native communities that have been hit hardest by opioids. But we have much more work to do and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll keep fighting for the resources our communities need to combat this crisis by connecting people with the help they need.”
“Too many New Mexico families have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic, and many more New Mexicans are struggling to find the treatment and recovery resources they need,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich, who hosted a workshop earlier this week in Española for New Mexico providers to hear directly from representatives from federal agencies about how to apply for grant funding. “I’ve fought to ensure competitive grants give preference to states like New Mexico that are experiencing the highest prevalence of opioid dependence and overdoses. Particularly in our rural and tribal communities, there is a severe lack of access to proven treatment and rehabilitation resources. I will keep doing everything I can to fight for the funding, resources, and policies we need to ensure every New Mexican who needs it can find treatment and lifesaving care so they can get on the road to recovery.
“Opioid addiction has left a jagged scar across our country, including in New Mexico where the disease has taken the lives of friends, family members, and individuals throughout our communities,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján. “This grant will bolster New Mexico’s efforts to combat opioid addiction by increasing access to treatment and prevention and I was proud to help secure this funding in Congress. I am thankful attention is being paid to the crisis and will continue to advocate for increased funding at the federal level.”
“New Mexico has a long history of addiction, but it didn’t get much attention until the rest of the country experienced it. Now, we will finally get some relief. Nearly every New Mexican knows someone or has a family member who has been affected by this crisis. As someone who has struggled with addiction, I know it is an illness that takes persistent treatment, and this additional funding will go a long way to ensuring our communities can effectively address the opioid crisis and heal,” said Rep. Deb Haaland.
“The opioid epidemic disproportionally affects poorer, rural, and tribal communities like so many across southern New Mexico. This grant will help improve access to badly needed treatment and recovery services for New Mexicans struggling with addiction. I look forward to continuing to work with the delegation, local experts, and community leaders across the state who have made addressing this issue a top priority,” said Rep. Xochitl Torres Small.
Since the behavioral health shortage which began in 2013, communities throughout New Mexico have struggled with disruptions in mental and behavioral health treatment. New Mexico’s drug overdose rate is 13% higher than the national average, and according to the New Mexico Department of Health, 2 out of 3 overdose deaths involved an opioid in 2017. The delegation will work together to address the opioid epidemic in New Mexico and across the country.
The State Opioid Response grants administered by HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aim to address the opioid crisis by increasing access to MAT using the three Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery.
SAMHSA also operates a 24/7, national Helpline that people can call to find treatment referral resources for mental health or substance use disorders: 800-662-HELP (4357). People can visit https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.