An Albuquerque police officer will be among President Donald Trump’s guests at the State of the Union tonight. Officer Ryan Holets met a pregnant woman struggling with addiction on the streets last year and wound up adopting her baby. Many women are facing the same situation—and the detox and treatment options are limited.
Spots in medically supervised detox facilities are in short supply for pregnant women in New Mexico. It’s a longtime problem, and community organization Young Women United has been tackling the stigma surrounding the issue for years. Micaela Cadena is the research director there. "When Officer Holets is honored tonight, it’s a moment where in New Mexico, we can recon with our own complex state," she said.
Heroes do walk among us, Cadena said, and they can call to the rest of us to think through how we show up for vulnerable families around us. "But also it’s a moment that talks to New Mexico’s truth."
Local legislators were not trying to eek out more money for drug treatment for pregnant women from the super tight state budget in recent years. And there’s no legislation aimed at the problem this year, either.
But addiction has a grip on our state, Cadena said, and it’s a crucial time to find pragmatic solutions.
Trump’s State of the Union address will air live at 7 p.m. on KUNM. And we’ll have more reporting on the bigger story of addiction and pregnancy this week.