Sarah Cheney, AmeriCorps VISTA | November 28, 2017
“We didn’t get better, everyone else just got worse.” Scary words to hear when it’s related to the opioid crisis we face here New Mexico. The Santa Fe Prevention Alliance, the City of Santa Fe and many others came together to host the Opioid Crisis Response summit, which also included many of New Mexico’s legislators. I was lucky enough to attend and I couldn’t be more thankful; I learned so much. Two of my favorite takeaways were: 1) New Mexico was the first state to require law enforcement to carry Naloxone at all times, 2) We were the first to allow pharmacists to distribute the lifesaving drug without a prescription and 3) I learned about Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) and medications like buprenorphine (a medication that helps cure addiction and has many other amazing properties.)
At the end of the session, we had roundtable discussions with legislators on what policies we feel they should bring up at 2018’s Legislative session. We also acknowledged the crisis rural parts of New Mexico face and how many in those regions are unable to receive treatment due to the of the lack of resources.
I could keep going on about everything I learned, ha, but all-in-all, I still have much to learn about this epidemic and this was a great start.