Prevention Works: Treatment is Possible
- Be Aware
- Be Proactive
- Be Kind
- Be Healthy
Pledge with us to change the conversation around substance and opioid misuse: be aware, be proactive, be kind, and be healthy.
Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction Work
Together, we can break this cycle.
Overdose deaths in New Mexico caused by opioid misuse have increased since the start of the pandemic. Certain populations may be at increased risk of an overdose, including:
- Anyone who takes opioids with other medications or substances including alcohol
- Anyone who uses heroin, morphine or fentanyl
- People with reduced tolerance following detox or release from incarceration
- Someone who has had a previous non-fatal overdose
- Anyone who uses opioid medications to manage pain.
Accidental overdose and death can happen whether you are taking prescription painkillers, heroin, fentanyl or mixing more than one drug, including alcohol. Opioids can cause reactions that make your breathing slow or even stop, which is a common factor in a lot of overdose cases. About 74% of overdose deaths in New Mexico are caused by some form of opiates, including fentanyl, and over the last three years, overdose deaths due specifically to fentanyl rose by 135%. Fentanyl is an incredibly strong opioid, and even a small amount can cause an overdose in an unsuspecting person. Street drugs are often laced with fentanyl.
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioids, carrying Narcan can save a life in case of an overdose. Narcan is a life-saving medication administered nasally and is available to any New Mexican and is covered by Medicaid. Narcan – also known as Naloxone – is a nasal spray medication designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. You can get Narcan anywhere in New Mexico by calling (505) 270-5943. It’s a good idea to always carry Narcan with you, because it’s easy to use and can be administered by anyone. Our sister campaign, Dose of Reality, has a comprehensive list of Narcan providers on their website: Learn how to get and use Narcan to help save someone from an overdose death.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling to treat opioid addiction to both prescription pain relievers and heroin. Opioid addiction is a chronic disease, like heart disease or diabetes that can’t be cured, but it can be managed to help a person with addiction regain a healthy, productive life. People can’t just walk away from addiction – they need help. You can access resources on obtaining medication-assisted treatment through Dose of Reality. Click here to learn about MAT.
While there is no completely safe way to use illicit drugs and other substances, there are ways to diminish the harmful effects associated with substance misuse, such as overdose. When it comes to using heroin, fentanyl and other opioids, follow these less risky harm reduction tips to reduce the risk of overdose:
- Never use alone
- Carry Narcan
- Listen to your body
- Test your supply
- Use slowly
For more information, visit Dose of Reality – Harm Reduction or call Never Use Alone at 1-800-484-3731.
Overdose Awareness Resources
- Dose of Reality: Stop the Stigma
- Dose of Reality: Prevention
- Dose of Reality: Where to Get Treatment
- New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP)
- New Mexico Service Providers and Site IDs
- Handbook for Keeping Families Safe From Prescription PainKillers
- New Mexico Department of Health Substance Abuse Epidemiology Program
- Quick Facts About Drug Overdoses in New Mexico
- Fentanyl – There is Another Way