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    Bernalillo County Partners with Health Council to Prevent Opioid Overdose Deaths

    12:04 PM

    Bernalillo County Partners with Health Council to Prevent Opioid Overdose Deaths

    New Agreement Will Expand Access to Live-Saving Resources

    Bernalillo County, NM- Last week officials with the Bernalillo County Department of Behavioral Health (DBHS) entered into an agreement with the Bernalillo County Community Health Council (BCCHC) which will increase access to life-saving Narcan medication in order to reduce deaths from opioid overdoses in Bernalillo County.

    As part of the agreement, DBHS is now a community distribution site for Narcan through the BCCHC, beginning with 50 Narcan kits to be provided to the department by the health council, with additional kits provided on an ongoing basis. Training to administer Narcan will be provided by the council to DBHS service providers who work with individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction. In addition to critical opioid overdose prevention education, upon discharge Narcan kits will be made available upon request to all clients who receive services for opioid addiction through DBHS, to include training on proper administration of the medication. Community members in need may also request Narcan kits from BCDH.

    From 2013 to 2015, 374 people died from opioid overdoses in Bernalillo County, according to the Bernalillo County Community Health Council. When administered timely and properly, Narcan counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist and can reverse the effects of opioids by restoring normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdose by heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.

    “The Department of Behavioral Health works proactively to prevent and treat substance abuse issues in Bernalillo County, however we know that opioids are a particularly insidious drug, with a high incidence of fatal overdose,” said Katrina Hotrum-Lopez, Director of DBHS. “Our partnership with the Bernalillo County Community Health Council continues to prove invaluable, and we are grateful for the life-saving services and resources they provide in our community.”

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