Monday, April 10, 2017

New Mexico will require all law enforcement officers to carry opioid-overdose antidote kits

New Mexico has become the first state to require all state and local law enforcement agencies "to provide officers with antidote kits" to combat the opioid epidemic, Susan Montoya Bryan reports for The Associated Press. A 2014 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked New Mexico second nationally, behind West Virgini, in rates of opioid deaths, at 27.3 for every 100,000 people.

"Aside from outfitting first responders with anti-overdose kits, the legislation requires federally certified addiction treatment centers to provide patients with education plus two doses of naloxone and a prescription for the antidote," AP reports. "The state’s prisons and jails will be required to do the same for at-risk inmates upon their release as long as funding and supplies are available."

"While the bill does not include any new funding, public safety officials said each police force in New Mexico receives annual state funding per officer to help with training, equipment and supplies," AP reports. "A portion of that can be used to purchase naloxone kits, which cost roughly $70 each. It can be administered with a nasal spray or via injection. Grant funding will also be sought to fully implement expanded access." (Screenshot of interactive Kaiser Family Foundation map: Numbers of opioid deaths by state in 2014, highlighting New Mexico)

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