prevention is possible

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.

Let's Change the Conversation Around Opioid Misuse: Prevention Works

Treatment is Effective, and Recovery is Possible​

Throughout the month of March, our focus is on the prevention and treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), including fentanyl. Let’s change the conversation—anyone can become dependent on drugs and struggle with addiction. It is not a moral failing. No one likes to feel judged or devalued. Two out of three of us know someone struggling right now. We must reduce the stigma to encourage people to ask for help and recovery.

Every community is touched by opioid misuse—rural, urban, tribal; large or small. People can’t just walk away from opioid addiction – they need help. Addiction (OUD) 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.

Here are some steps to stop the stigma that impacts a person’s willingness to get treatment or health care:


  • Offer compassionate support.
  • Display kindness to people in vulnerable situations.
  • Listen while withholding judgment.
  • See a person for who they are, not what substances they use.
  • Learn about how substance dependency works.
  • Treat people with substance dependency with dignity and respect.
  • Avoid hurtful labels.
  • Replace negative attitudes with evidence-based facts.
  • Speak up when you see someone mistreated because of their substance use.

People affected by stigma are less likely to reach out for help, because they may be burdened with feelings of shame and unworthiness. We invite you to Take the Pledge to stop the stigma around substance misuse.

We have a name. We have a history. We have a personality. We come from families and communities. We have a story to tell.

To prevent dependency and opioid use disorder, practice safe medication use, properly store and get rid of prescribed opioids and know the signs of opioid dependency.


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 bad reactions that make your breathing slow or even stop. About 74% of overdose deaths in New Mexico are caused by some form of opiates, including fentanyl. 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.


Learn how to get and use Narcan to help save someone from an overdose death.


Blaming, shaming, ignoring, and rejecting someone will not break the opioid cycle, but medication and support will. Anti-craving medication, also known as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), is available wherever you live, including home phone and video help. Anti-craving medication and support helps someone stay alive, stop the withdrawal cravings, stay in treatment, obey the law, get and keep a job and be part of a family and community. It does not create a new dependency.


Together, we can break this cycle.


The goal of the New Mexico Department of Human Services Behavioral Health Services Division (BHSD) is to provide education, information, and community support to those seeking help. Over the last 12 months, 184,534 New Mexican adults were supported by our programs and services1. Stand with us and take the pledge to end the stigma around opioid misuse, so that everyone can feel accepted and empowered on the road to health.





prevention is possible

Thank you for taking the #DoseofWellness pledge. Prevention of substance misuse is possible, and treatment is available.

Pledge Form