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Home News Decrease in Drug Overdose Deaths in 2015
Kenny Vigil
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Decrease in Drug Overdose Deaths in 2015

June 8, 2016 - Opioid Safety - Information

Today, the New Mexico Department of Health announced that drug overdose deaths in the state decreased by 9 percent last year.  Preliminary mortality data from 2015 shows that the number of drug overdose deaths among New Mexicans dropped from 540 in 2014 to 492 in 2015.

“The decrease in overdose deaths is encouraging, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Secretary of Health Lynn Gallagher. “We will continue working closely with the Human Services Department and our stakeholders to reduce overdose deaths in New Mexico.”

Drug overdose death is the leading cause of injury death in New Mexico and nationally, exceeding deaths from motor vehicle traffic crashes and falls.

New Mexico has been recognized as a leader in innovative policies addressing prescription drug overdose by being one of two states that has implemented 10 out of 10 promising strategies according to the Trust for America’s Health.

Since taking office, Governor Susana Martinez has implemented a comprehensive approach to fighting drug abuse in New Mexico, particularly regarding prescription drug abuse and fatalities. The Governor signed legislation this spring that requires opioid prescribers to check New Mexico’s Prescription Monitoring Program the first time they prescribe these drugs to an individual, and to check the system every three months for repeat prescriptions in order to reduce drug seeking.

Governor Martinez also signed legislation authorizing licensed prescribers to write standing orders to prescribe, dispense, or distribute naloxone to community-based overdose prevention and education programs, first responders, and individuals at risk of experiencing or witnessing an opioid-related overdose.

There were 285 Medicaid claims from 35 pharmacies for naloxone in the first quarter of 2016. This almost equals the total number of naloxone Medicaid claims for all of 2015, which was 288 claims. This represents a fivefold increase in the amount of naloxone being dispensed from pharmacies compared to the first quarter of last year.

Efforts such as the “No Exceptions” drug awareness program, prevention efforts such as the PMP, and policy initiatives such as coverage of Naloxone through Centennial Care, show the Martinez administration’s commitment to reduce prescription drug overdose deaths.

Please visit the Opioid Safety section of our website for more information.

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Disminución de Muertes por Sobredosis de Drogas en 2015