addiction

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Overdose deaths have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the CDC, and many people are delaying or avoiding medical care due to concerns about the virus. The New Mexico Crisis and Access Line decided to partner with Digital Therapeutics Group LLC so those living with addictions can get support online. Launched in November with funding from the Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Division, the 5-Actions Program is free and anonymous. KUNM’s Nash Jones spoke with the app’s creator, John Fitzgerald, to learn more about the program.

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Hundreds of New Mexicans die from opioid overdoses every year. A new law went into effect this summer that requires patients who are getting prescriptions for five days or more of opioids to be given the overdose-reversing medication naloxone as well. 

Jeff Anderson via Flickr / Creative Commons License

An overdose-reversing medication has become an important tool in preventing opioid deaths. But it’s not as available in Albuquerque as it is in other parts of the state, according to a team of students at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, who released their findings earlier this month.

Alan Levin via Flickr / public domain

Bernalillo County’s Peer Drop-In Center for folks looking for help with things like counseling, addiction, and job searches is now open in southwest Albuquerque. It's the first of its kind in the community.

There are stereotypes about people who seek help when they're in crisis or dealing with addiction, said Evan Gonzales, program specialist with Bernalillo County Health Services.

Let's Talk Recovery From Opioid Addiction

Aug 5, 2019
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  Let's Talk New Mexico 8/8, 8a: Call in now 505-277-5866. New Mexicans trying to kick an addiction to opioids have limited places to go for treatment. We're talking about options for recovery, and we want to hear from you. If you’ve quit using opioids, what was that like? And what helped? Have you sought out medication-assisted treatment, like a methadone clinic, or used medical cannabis in recovering from opioid addiction? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show at (505) 277-5866.

Let's Talk Sobriety In The Summer

Jun 25, 2019
Hannah Colton / KUNM

  Let's Talk NM 6/27 8a: With Fourth of July weekend just ahead and Pride celebrations ongoing, ‘tis the season for summer parties. And for many, that means being in social situations where the booze is flowing. On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’re talking sobriety this summer. If you’ve quit drinking or using drugs, how has that changed the way you connect with people? What can friends and family do to support their sober loved ones? Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org or call in live during the show.

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Hundreds of people die each day from drug overdoses around the country.

This Saturday is National Take Back Day, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is trying to bring that number down by getting people to turn in their unused medications.

Creative Commons / Pixabay


The number of babies born dependent on drugs in New Mexico more than tripled between 2008 and 2017 according to new data from the state Department of Health.

May Ortega | KUNM

 

Opioid addiction comes with more than just physical symptoms. A big part of fighting for sobriety is recovering emotionally, and for different people, that part needs a different approach.

Bryce Dix

 

A recovery center for youths in Albuquerque is gearing up to open new housing next month specifically for girls and young women.

San Juan County Joins Opioid Lawsuit

Jun 4, 2018
Rae Allen via Flickr.com / Creative Commons License

 

San Juan County is joining a lawsuit against opioid companies to get back the money it’s spent on combating the opioid crisis there.

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.

Ed Williams

 


New Mexico’s rate of opioid overdose deaths used to be one of the worst in the country, but it’s slowly been improving. A new study says some of the state’s strategies could be helping.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

An Albuquerque police officer was honored in front of the whole country during the State of the Union address earlier this week. While on duty, he met a woman who was addicted to heroin and adopted her baby. More and more pregnant women are struggling with addiction in the state. But attitudes can be harsh, services are limited and funding is tight, leaving people with nowhere to turn.

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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. 

Jessica7191 via Pixabay / creative commons license

Attorneys general across the country are claiming that a 2016 law is preventing the Drug Enforcement Agency from stopping the overprescribing of opioid painkillers. This week New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas signed on to a letter with 44 other AG’s calling on Congress to repeal the “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act,” saying the law has handcuffed law enforcement from addressing the epidemic. 

What Does NM Need To Beat The Opioid Epidemic?

Oct 2, 2017
Ed Williams

Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/5 8a: The opioid epidemic—and what to do about it—has become a national conversation in recent years. Congress has passed bills trying to help, President Trump appointed a task force to outline solutions to the epidemic, and the New Mexico legislature has passed several bills aimed at reducing the death toll from overdoses.

But have those efforts gotten help to the people that need it? What do New Mexico’s communities need to win their fight with opioid addiction?

Mora County Sues Over Opioid Epidemic

Sep 22, 2017
Ed Williams / Public Health New Mexico

The opioid epidemic has racked up enormous costs for local governments in New Mexico, as cities and counties struggle to pay for medical care, law enforcement and treatment services for people dealing with addiction.

In recent years a growing number of local governments have been taking opioid manufacturers and distributors to court over those costs—including Mora County northeast of Santa Fe. 

Santa Fe County Holding Special Election Today

Sep 19, 2017
@jbtaylor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Santa Fe County is holding a special election Tuesday to decide whether to raise the gross receipts tax to fund behavioral health services.

If voters approve the measure, taxes in the county will go up one sixteenth of one percent. Officials estimate that will add up to about $2 million a year, which will go to pay for behavioral health services as well as more public safety positions.

Ed Williams / KUNM/Public Health New Mexico

Bernalillo County is joining a growing number of state and local governments in taking drug companies to court over the opioid epidemic. The county's decision to sue the drug companies comes just a week after Mora County filed its own suit in district court. 

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A 2016 federal sting operation in Albuquerque that targeted largely communities of color is raising more questions about the tactics officers used and how effective they were.  

Jeff Proctor broke the ATF sting story for New Mexico In Depth and the Santa Fe Reporter. He spoke with KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel about what he learned when he followed up with Jennifer Padilla, one of the women who was arrested in the sting.

Heinrich On Medicaid And ACA Overhaul

Jun 14, 2017
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons by cliff1066™

More than 50,000 people in the U.S. died because of an opioid overdose last year, which is an all-time high.

The opioid epidemic was the subject of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee hearing last week. New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat, is the ranking member of that committee. He spoke with KUNM about the hearing and the prospects for behavioral health in the Republican health care replacement bill. 

Recovery Courts For Teens

Jun 13, 2017
Joe Gratz via Flickr / Creative Commons

Young people who end up in the court system for substance abuse are at a crucial point in their lives. In many New Mexico communities, recovery courts provide resources for minors to address substance abuse and take advantage of mental health services. One goal is to address drug use before a minor ends up in the adult court system.

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KUNM Call In Show 5/18 8a. Many New Mexicans are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. When they break the law for driving under the influence or committing a crime related to their addiction, should they go to jail or into treatment? 

Ed Williams

New Mexico will receive $4.8 million in federal dollars for opioid treatment and prevention this year. The money comes from the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill signed by President Obama in December that gives states new funding to fight the opioid epidemic. 

Courtesy Project ECHO

In many parts of the world, including rural New Mexico, it's difficult for patients to access specialists in health care. But instead of moving more providers to those areas, what if doctors and other health professionals who already work in those communities could gain the knowledge and expertise they need to help their patients? That's the idea behind Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcome, or Project ECHO. It launched in 2003 at the University of New Mexico to respond to the growing Hepatitis C crisis around New Mexico.

Ed Williams

When someone addicted to heroin or prescription wants to quit, the first step is to find a detox center where they can safely go through withdrawals from the drug, but people in northern New Mexico who are trying to get help often can’t find it.

Police Chief: Families Crying Out For Help

Feb 1, 2017
Ed Williams / KUNM

When a public health crisis gets out of control, it can overwhelm law enforcement agencies. That’s what’s happened with the Española Police Department as it deals with a decades-old opioid epidemic and all the crime that goes with it. 

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 Preschool Addresses Trauma, Addiction

Jan 30, 2017
Ed Williams/KUNM

Research shows early childhood education is one of the most effective ways to prevent drug use later in life. That’s especially important in Rio Arriba County, where an opioid epidemic has been raging for decades. 

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