Bernalillo County issued the following announcement on Nov. 1.
More than one million dollars of federal funding will be coming to Bernalillo County to supplement current efforts by the County’s Department of Behavioral Health Services [DBHS] to identify, respond, treat, and support individuals impacted by the opioid epidemic.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse [NIDA] ranked New Mexico 17th in the nation for the number opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2017- and Bernalillo County’s overdose per capita rates have consistently been among the highest in the United States
“Ten years ago, Bernalillo County government saw the opioid epidemic killing county residents and devastating families in our community. We recognized our obligation to do everything in our power to reduce opioid use and overdose deaths in New Mexico,” said Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins. “These new federal dollars will expand our efforts and those of our community partners to combat opioid use and save lives.”
In 2017, there were 169 opioid-related deaths in Bernalillo County, according to the NIDA.
“Our county has a long, heartbreaking history with opioid use,” said County Manager Julie Morgas Baca. “Opioids have taken the lives of too many of our young people and community members. These dollars complement our current efforts and give us the ability to save even more lives through training, education and treatment.” She added, “We’re grateful for the unwavering and outspoken support of New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation in advocating on behalf of our state to bring this grant: Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan, Deb Haaland, and Xochitl Torres Small endorsed our efforts and our Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham supported our application for this grant.”
Bernalillo County will partner with State, Metro Area, Rural and Tribal and Federal partners to focus efforts on underserved regions within Bernalillo County, with an emphasis on rural communities. Partners will staff a Mobile Harm Reduction unit to provide drug take-backs, NARCAN training and distribution, wound care, immunizations, needle exchange programs, and referrals to additional services. DBHS will also partner with current service providers to increase and improve access to additional supportive services.
Original source can be found here.