There are about 1.7 million opioid prescriptions written every year in New Mexico. The state still has a problem with opioid related deaths, but the numbers are slowly going down here even as they rise around the country.
Governor Susanna Martinez and the New Mexico Department of Health released a new campaign called “There Is A Better Way” to raise awareness about prescription opioid addiction. It’s part of a larger effort by the state to curb opioid abuse. Around 500 people die from an overdose every year in New Mexico.
"Holding steady is not our goal. We want to reduce the drug overdose rate, we want to reduce the number of persons that are addicted to opioids, and we have a lot of work to do to make that happen,” said Michael Landen, a state epidemiologist with the department of health.
He said the slight decrease in deaths is good, but more action is needed. The goal, Landen said, is for as many New Mexicans to know there are other options for pain management besides opioids.