New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.
Paul Rhien
505-470-2290 Office

Substantial Improvement in National Ranking for Overdose Deaths

December 29, 2016 - Opioid Safety - Information

NM improves from 49th in the nation to 43rd

Today, the New Mexico Department of Health announced that the state’s drug overdose death rate improved from 49th worst in the nation to 43rd. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New Mexico also saw a 7 percent decline in overdose deaths from 2014 to 2015. Meanwhile, overdose deaths increased nationwide by nearly 11 percent.

“This is an issue that we’ve been focused on since day one of my administration. While we’ve made important strides, we still have a lot of work to do,” said Governor Susana Martinez. “One overdose death is one too many, which is why we’re going to continue doing everything in our power to end this epidemic.”

Curbing drug overdose deaths has been a major priority for Governor Martinez. Earlier this year, the governor signed two pieces of legislation, which takes important steps to prevent drug misuse and combat overdose:

In addition, the Department of Health and the Human Services Department announced in September that it had secured more than $11 million in grants to reduce opioid-related deaths, strengthen prevention efforts, and improve opioid surveillance data. DOH’s Epidemiology and Response Division also received two grants from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, totaling $3.7 million over three years to aid in preventing prescription drug overdoses and to enhance tracking and reporting of overdoses; this is in addition to $3.4 million received in September 2015 over four years for preventing prescription drug overdoses.

“Over the course of this administration, we’ve been working hard to address this serious issue. This improvement shows that we’ve made progress, but we are still behind the national rate,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “Our goal is to have the fewest possible overdose deaths. And until we achieve this, we’re going to continue doing all we can to address the issue with our partners.”

NMDOH continues to work to improve prescribing practices with measurable improvements being seen recently:

NMDOH also continues to promote the use of Medication Assisted Treatment, which includes use of methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone, while HSD has greatly expanded availability of Medicaid coverage for this important service

For information on prescription opioid safety, visit the Opioid Safety section of our website.  More information is also available on the DOH Harm Reduction section of our website.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Paul Rhien at 505-470-2290 (Office) with your questions.


Versión en Español

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Mejora sustancial en la categoría nacional de muertes por sobredosis