Everybody’s making money off the drug war

Click to access gov020212-2.pdf

February 2, 2012


Urges Support for Legislation to Help Tackle Prescription Drug Abuse

Today Governor Susana Martinez announced the rollout of a new video project called “No Exceptions” to bring attention to the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and heroin abuse by young people in New Mexico, and to urge parents, community members, and public officials to work together to stop this serious problem. She was joined by Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier, Public Education Department Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera, Department of Health Secretary Catherine Torres, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, Jennifer Weiss of the Heroin Awareness Committee, and families of New Mexico kids who have been affected by prescription drug abuse.

[I’m confused, are only young people affected by this “epidemic”? Or is that just how Governor Martinez sold the continuation of the failed drug war?]

“No Exceptions” is a comprehensive media campaign involving the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative (BHC), the Human Services Department (HSD), the Public Education Department (PED), the Department of Health (DOH), the Heroin Awareness Committee (HAC), and private partners…

[So many fighting the failed drug war… lots of taxpayer dollars paying these government salaries… for the government to keep prescription medications away from pain patients.  Oh, and of course, the children…]

“By providing education on the dangers of drug abuse before it starts, we can save lives, and by expanding and improving prescription drug monitoring and better defining when and how these drugs are prescribed for legitimate reasons, we can take tangible steps to curb prescription drug abuse in New Mexico.”

The ongoing media campaign will kick-off with public service announcements (PSAs) paid for by the NMBHC and HSD airing statewide in cooperation with the New Mexico Broadcasters Association (NMBA). The PSAs will begin airing on television and radio this week and will continue throughout the year. In addition, PED will be sending a letter to all school superintendents encouraging them to have their middle and high school health classes show the video and host discussions based on the video in their health classes…

[Like I said, so many involved in fighting the drug war… must be expensive.]

At 27 overdose deaths for every 100,000 people, New Mexico has the highest drug overdose rate in the United States. This frightening statistic is more than double the United States rate of 11.9 deaths for every 100,000 people and has increased by 242% since 1991. In New Mexico, 40% of these deaths are caused primarily by prescription drugs…

[What were the other 60% of deaths caused by?]

Governor Martinez also announced her support for legislation to help reduce prescription drug abuse in New Mexico. Three pieces of legislation – modifications to the Pain Relief Act, enacting more safeguards for the prescribing of opioids, and an expansion of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Database – are keys to help combat this problem…

SB 158, SB 159, and SB 215 are being carried by Senator Bernadette Sanchez this legislative session and are based on countless hours of work by the Department of Health, the Heroin Awareness Committee, Senator Bernadette Sanchez, and the Board of Pharmacy. These bills will provide needed revisions to the Pain Relief Act, enacting more safeguards and increased monitoring of opioid medication prescriptions. SB 159 and SB 215 have already received the approval of the Senate Public Affairs…

SB 158 will expand, improve, and implement the current Prescription Drug Monitoring Database (PDMP) to hold doctors accountable for the opioids prescriptions they write, as well as reduce the amount of opioid drugs that are illegitimately prescribed.

SB 159 seeks to clarify the procedures under which certain opioid medications are obtained by educating patients, requiring informed consent, and limiting the number of opioids prescribed throughout the state. SB 215 expands the definition of “pain,” to be inclusive of both “acute” and “chronic” pain in order to ensure proper pain management for patients…

[Yeah, it looks like that didn’t happen.]

Catherine Torres, M.D. “The legislation being sponsored by Senator Sanchez will go a long way toward addressing the addiction and overdose death problems we face in New Mexico. More proactive action is needed on this issue, and this is a major step in the right direction. I urge the legislature to support these bills.”

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