N.M. To Require Officers To Carry Opiate Overdose Antidote Kits

Published: Monday, April 10, 2017 - 6:19pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 7:33am

The New Mexico Legislature has passed a law requiring all local and state law enforcement agencies to provide officers with opiate overdose antidote kits. It’s the first state in the nation to do so.

New Mexico has been working for years to curb what has only recently been identified by the highest levels of the federal government as a national epidemic.

Haley Coles is the executive director of Sonoran Prevention Works based in Phoenix. She says she’s always happy to hear about laws like this in the region but adds states may be better served expanding access among regular citizens, citing a CDC report that showed more than 80 percent of overdose reversals nationwide were performed by drug users.

"I do think that we should be focusing as well on evidence based policies like equipping drug users with naloxone," Coles said.

New Mexico was the first to increase access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone in 2001, and a few years later it led the way to release people from legal liability when they assist in overdose situations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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