112,400 Safe Disposal Kits Distributed in New Mexico
The New Mexico Department of Health is taking an active approach to addressing substance misuse and recovery. Unfortunately, New Mexico’s drug overdose rate in 2018 was still 29 percent higher than the U.S. rate and there was an increase in overdose deaths from 2016 to 2018. There have been consistent steps made across the state to address these community and health care challenges, and this work has gained even more importance with the added complications of COVID-19 as so many work to prevent addiction and manage recovery.
In New Mexico there are many harm reduction, prevention and safe disposal programs, services, and resources to help address substance misuse and support individuals in their efforts towards recovery. Safe disposal is a critical first step for prevention of misuse. In partnership with the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of New Mexico, the state Department of Health and its local partners have distributed 112,400 Deterra Safe At-Home Disposal kits over the past year.
This time of year poses several national awareness efforts and observances related to substance misuse – August 31 is International Drug Overdose Day, September is National Recovery Month, October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, October 24 is National Take Back Day. While these concerted efforts are critical to raising awareness of substance misuse, efforts to address addiction and support recovery must be a top priority all year round.
A Data Dashboard detailing the urgency for action against substance misuse in New Mexico can be found on the NMDoH website. For a virtual trailer experience (in English or Spanish) to learn more about the signs of substance misuse please visit https://www.ralinm.org/rali-cares.