Rio Arriba County’s Health and Human Services Department is helping law enforcement there stock the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.
Rio Arriba County has the highest rate of opioid overdoses in New Mexico, but police and sheriff’s departments haven’t been able to get a reliable supply of naloxone—also known as Narcan—to use on the streets.
"We’re out. I don’t have any," said Sheriff David Lujan. "I had two and I used them on a male individual about 2 weeks ago, and it was fruitless he passed away anyway. I think it was probably because of the time lapse from when he overdosed to when I got on scene.
But in most cases, Sheriff Lujan says, having a supply of naloxone on hand makes all the difference, because it’s law enforcement that shows up first when a overdose gets called in.
"But if we have more deputies that have it, we have a better chance of saving some more lives," he said.
But, he says the 232 doses currently on its way from the county won’t last long. Meanwhile county Health and Human Services Director Lauren Reichelt says she’ll be looking for other sources of Narcan for Rio Arriba police and sheriffs officers.