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Opioid Bill Clears U.S. House

Ed Williams
A heroin-filled syringe siezed by Española police"

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that could bring new money to fight the nation’s opioid epidemic. It’s a measure that could have big impacts in New Mexico.

The 21st Century Cures Act would fund opioid prevention and treatment programs to the tune of $1 billion. It calls for the money to be prioritized towards states with the highest rates of opioid addiction. That would seem to put New Mexico in a good position, since we rank at the top of the national list for addiction and overdose.

Rio Arriba County could see some important benefits from this new money—detox and recovery centers there are severely underfunded, despite having the state’s highest overdose rate.

The bill would also channel nearly $5 billion of federal money towards medical research. It passed with broad support in the House, and heads to the Senate next week. 

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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