Home » Health & Medicine, Lifestyle, Living, News & Current Affairs, Society & Culture » What Must New Mexico’s Drug Rehab Centers Do to Help Fight Drug Overdose Deaths?
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There were 547 drug overdose related deaths in New Mexico in 2014 accounting for an age adjusted drug overdose death rate of 27.3 for every 100,000 deaths.

This was significantly higher than its 2013 record of 458 for a 19.4 percent increase. As of 2014, New Mexico holds the greatest percentage of drug overdose associated deaths surpassing that of New Hampshire’s 26.2 and Kentucky’s 24.7.

What many New Mexico drug treatment facilities are worried about is the decreasing pattern of treatment admissions. In 2012, drug addiction treatment admissions were down by 56.1 percent for heroin, 66 percent for opioids, and 44.5 percent for amphetamines. Overall New Mexico’s declining treatment admissions was pegged at 26.6 percent. However, there is some form of good news. The percentage of drug overdose reversals – meaning those who were able to be rescued from life-threatening drug overdose events – increased by as much as 525 percent; but only 20 percent were ever coursed through emergency services.

New Mexico’s drug rehab facilities are now working more actively with state officials as well as concerned civic groups on how they can help reverse the increasing number of deaths associated with drug overdose. Knowing that more than 80 percent of the deaths have been attributed to prescription opioid painkillers like tramadol, oxycodone, methadone, and hydrocodone, just to name a few, suggests that a massive re-education campaign should be initiated and expanded to include special groups in the population. These can include high risk groups such as the elderly, the pregnant, ethnic minorities, and of course, teenagers and young children. As such, reaching out to schools will be one of the intended activities of drug rehabilitation centers in New Mexico.

Additionally, socio-civic community groups are being tapped to help in the information dissemination campaign. Smaller teams of resource persons have been going from school to school to provide small open discussions about the dangers of prescription drug misuse. This is very important because many youngsters do not necessarily consider prescription drugs as inherently dangerous. This is because of the notion that these substances are designed to treat patients of their problems. This misconception must be corrected at once. A great number of heroin addicts all started with misusing prescription opioid analgesics. This has been taken as the foundation for the gradual transition into the world of the deadlier heroin.

New Mexico’s drug addiction center establishments are also working closely with drug enforcement agencies to help send drug users to treatment centers instead of community jails. It is observed that many of these drug dependents deserve a second chance to correct their mistakes and turn their lives around for the better. Many of the addiction treatment centers in New Mexico also espouse the use of medically assisted cognitive and behavioral therapies. These drug rehabilitation modalities have been proven to work especially in empowering rehabilitees in their reintegration with society.

In this respect, drug rehab facilities also need to work with the community in general. What is desired is for a society that is not prejudicial to the recovery efforts of drug rehabilitees. What they need is for society to accept them as persons and not as animals.

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