KUNM

Rio Arriba

Rashad Mahmood / KUNM

When Congress passed an omnibus budget bill in March, it provided $100 million to fight the opioid epidemic in rural counties. The bill includes a list of 220 counties slated to be the focus of the funding. Many counties with high rates of drug deaths weren’t on the list, like Rio Arriba County here in New Mexico.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Congress boosted the budget for the battle against the opioid epidemic this year, and a chunk of it—$100 million—is slated for treatment and prevention in rural communities. But something about how lawmakers chose to prioritize that money caught a New Mexico health official by surprise: the funding is focused on counties that are mostly white.

KUNM Special 8/3 8a: KUNM has been investigating the impacts of heroin addiction on children and families in Rio Arriba County, N.M. The region's had one of the country’s highest overdose rates for decades. Ed Williams' reporting follows the lives of families and community health leaders, providing an intimate view of the opioid epidemic from the perspective of the people who have been living through it for generations.

Española High School Students Hunger For Respect, Support

Jan 31, 2017
Ed Williams / KUNM

When kids are at high risk for addiction, a good public school system can be one of the most effective ways to prevent drug use. On the other hand, dysfunctional schools can make drug use by students more likely.

In Española public schools, teacher turnover and problems with the administration have created a lot of instability for students. But students at Española Valley High School say it’s time to focus on what’s good about their school.