For the past two decades, New Mexico has had one of the highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation, and one of the highest per capita heroin-related death rates. One person dies nearly every day of a drug overdose in New Mexico. DPA is engaged in several initiatives to help prevent overdose deaths in New Mexico. Our priorities include devising new strategies to prevent drug overdose fatalities, such as authorizing overdose prevention programs, expanding drug checking services, and establishing an injectable opioid treatment program.
- In 2021, a bill to authorize overdose prevention programs/supervised consumption services was introduced for the first time in the State.
- In 2019, NM became the first state to decriminalize drug paraphernalia.
- 2018-2020, DPA chaired the Santa Fe Municipal Drug Strategy Task Force which included recommending innovate harm reduction models that can be implemented at a local level. (hyperlink to report)
- In 2018, the NM legislature passed legislation to examine administering pharmaceutical-grade heroin or other opioid by medical practitioners to people struggling with long-term addiction.
- In 2016 our New Mexico office produced a booklet designed to encourage safer partying at music festivals and concerts. It contains information about drugs like MDMA and LSD, drug checking resources, and tips for people stopped by police officers at a music event. We distribute this booklet online and at events to help spread harm reduction messages across the state as part of our #SaferPartying campaign. Read the #SaferPartying booklet.
- On March 3rd 2016, an opioid overdose prevention bill that sailed through the New Mexico State Legislature with unanimous support was signed by Governor Susana Martinez. The law allows for the possession, distribution and storage of an opiate overdose antidote (naloxone or Narcan®) by individuals and community organizations under a standing order and relieves individuals or registered overdose prevention and education programs from civil liability. The law will make it easier for community organizations, jails, treatment programs, and first responders to distribute naloxone. It also provides legal protection to laypeople encouraging them to administer naloxone in overdose situations where every second counts.
- In 2012, the NM state legislature passed a groundbreaking memorial aimed at reducing overdose, including a study of medically supervised injection sites.
- In 2007 New Mexico was the first state to pass 911 Good Samaritan Legislation that protects overdose witnesses and victims who seek medical attention from arrest and prosecution for simple drug offenses. While this was an important victory, the law did not protect an individual on probation or parole or a person who has a restraining order against them. In 2017, DPA worked to broaden the 911 Good Samaritan law to cover these individuals.
- In 2001, the New Mexico legislature passed a bill that removes criminal and civil liability from people who administer naloxone, an opiate overdose reversal agent. That legislation has led to hundreds of lives saved.