As New Mexico continues the fight against opioid addiction, state health officials have been working hard to offer more resources and information to the public.
Today a new resource is being made available – a map that shows every pharmacy in New Mexico where individuals can access the medication used to reverse the effects of opioid-related overdoses.
You may have heard about this medication already. It’s called Naloxone (also known as Narcan), and it’s an emergency medication that comes in form of a nasal spray that can be used by friends and family to stop someone from dying during an opioid-related drug overdose.
The map is simple and easy to use, and it’s integrated with Google Maps so you can get directions from your location to selected pharmacies. Check out the map here. (https://doseofreality.com/naloxone/)
Accessing Naloxone is important, but who exactly is it for, and how do you get it? This is a question many New Mexicans ask. Here are three important facts about Naloxone:
- You don’t have to be an opioid user to request Naloxone. Friends and family with loved ones who may be in danger of opioid addiction or abuse should consider having a supply of Naloxone on hand. It’s a simple and easy way to prevent an overdose, and it could possibly save someone’s life.
- Anyone can request naloxone from a local pharmacy without a prescription. It’s also available through many county public health offices, private doctors’ offices, harm reduction programs, and substance abuse treatment offices. Bookmark this page for more information, such as hours and phone numbers.
- Naloxone is often available for free. Aside from pharmacies, many places above offer Naloxone free of charge, no questions asked. If you’ve been subscribed opioids, it may be ideal to get keep a supply of Naloxone on hand. Prescriptions are 100% covered for Medicaid clients, and co-pays may exist for those with private insurance.
State officials see the map helping fit the needs of two trends – the first being that most New Mexicans don’t know where and how to get naloxone. A recent survey by the New Mexico Department of Health showed 53% of New Mexicans don’t know where or how to get naloxone, and only 15% of citizens know an individual can request naloxone from a local pharmacy without a prescription.
The second trend shows a sustained demand for Naloxone kits statewide. Requests for Naloxone kits increased from a monthly average of 860 to 1452 in July and 972 kits have been distributed during the first two weeks of September.
The new Naloxone map is one of several ways state officials are continuing to fight New Mexico’s opioid addiction epidemic.
Earlier this year, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law a bill passed by the New Mexico legislature that would require opioid prescriptions for pain relief of five days or more to come with a second prescription of naloxone that can reverse a possible overdose. It also requires safety briefings for first-time opioid prescriptions.
As part of its ongoing efforts, the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention and the Behavioral Health Services Division will be launching a new naloxone campaign in the coming months to fight the stigma of Naloxone for ordinary citizens who are more likely to witness an opioid overdose of a family member or friend. In the meantime, find out more about Naloxone and how to access it on our “A Dose of Reality” website here.