Santa Fe, NM – Gov. Susana Martinez and the New Mexico Department of Health announced the launch of a new campaign to combat prescription opioid abuse and misuse in New Mexico – the campaign is called “There Is Another Way”. The statewide, multifaceted campaign aims to educate patients and caregivers about safer pain management options and alternative pain management strategies.
“We’ve taken a number of steps to fight opioid abuse in New Mexico and I’m proud of our progress, but there is still more work to do,” said Martinez. “This campaign is another way we will fight opioid addiction and abuse as we educate New Mexicans on just how dangerous it can be and the devastating effect it is having in our state.”
The campaign will raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of misusing prescription opioids through the use of community engagement events, school outreach, radio advertising and online promotion, while offering alternative treatment strategies. Additionally, NMDOH will provide the community with information about how to recognize and treat opioid misuse.
“As a state, we have taken steps to reduce the number of opioid related overdoses at the first responder and medical provider level,” said Lynn Gallagher, New Mexico Department of Health Cabinet Secretary. “As that work continues, this campaign is now about the patient – making sure they are knowledgeable and educated when presented with opioids as a pain management option. This is a very important step in reducing the devastating impact of prescription drug misuse. We want everyone to know that there is another way.”
New Mexico has made substantial improvements in its national ranking for drug overdose deaths, improving from among the highest drug overdose death rates in the nation to 12th highest in 2016. NMDOH reports 491 drug overdose deaths in 2017, a small decrease from 497 deaths in 2016.
Martinez said she has made drug overdose prevention a priority of her administration and has implemented comprehensive solutions to fight drug abuse in New Mexico. Under her administration, New Mexico:
- Strengthened Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) laws to require health care providers to check the database when prescribing opioids, leading to fewer opportunities for someone addicted to opioids to go from doctor to doctor for drugs.
- Became the first state to require all local and state law enforcement agencies to provide officers with naloxone, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses.
- Expanded legislation allowing both pharmacists and law enforcement to
dispense naloxone without a prescription – expanding access to the life-saving drug.
- Removed prior authorization for Suboxone, expanded the number of methadone clinics, and the number of these clinics accepting Medicaid.
Additionally, earlier this year, the National Safety Council reported that New Mexico is one of only two states that has implemented all six key actions recommended to reduce prescription painkiller deaths.
Comprehensive information on non-opioid alternatives, addiction resources and prescription opioid misuse is available on the campaign website, www.anotherwaynm.com. NMDOH will be posting relevant articles, visuals and resources related to the campaign on social media at https://www.facebook.com/nmdoh/ and https://www.instagram.com/nmdoh/.