CYFD implements drug training for combating opioid overdoses

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department in participation with New Mexico Human Services Department’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention carried out training for field staff and for certain staff members working in juvenile facilities on carrying and administering Narcan, a nasal spray utilized to counteract life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose.

“This is an important tool now available to our Juvenile Justice and other field staff,” said CYFD Secretary Brian Blalock in a CYFD news release. “Narcan has saved thousands of lives and just like defibrillators placed widely in public spaces, Narcan should be carried by anybody who takes opiates or has a loved one who takes these prescription medications so they can be taken in the safest way possible.”

According to the same news release, drug overdose continues to be the leading cause of adult injury death in the United States according to the New Mexico Department of Health and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. They said the majority of overdose deaths involve prescription opioid medications. The number of overdose deaths involving opioids has nearly quadrupled since 1999, leading public health officials to declare a nationwide opioid overdose epidemic.

In the same news release, CYFD says due to factors surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, overdoses are again on the rise. An NMDOH survey found 85% of adults in the state recognize prescription opioid abuse to be an extremely serious public health problem in our state, with nearly two-thirds of those surveyed reporting they know someone who is or has been addicted to opioids.

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