SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico Human Services Department announced improved access to opioid addiction treatment providers using a one-stop search map and the increased availability of video and phone provider treatment services through the Dose of Reality Treatment Works campaign. The goal of this campaign is to empower New Mexico communities to seek treatment that is available in-person, by video or by phone, no matter where they live or what gaps used to exist. The campaign includes an easy interactive treatment locator map, a resource guide and video to also address stigma associated with opioid addiction.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-person, individualized approach to the treatment of opioid use disorders. Research shows that when treating substance-use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies is most successful at helping people survive, stop cravings, stay in treatment, keep a job, connect with family and community, obey the law and have healthier babies. A cornerstone message is that opioid addiction is not a moral failing. It is a disease that can be treated with medicine just like diabetes, heart disease and asthma.
“HSD is leading the way in responding to the heroin and opioid crisis affecting our families by ensuring immediate access to Medication-Assisted Treatment and support services needed to save lives and for successful recovery,” said Dr. Bowen, director of the Behavioral Health Services Division.
New Mexico ranks 12th nationally for unintended overdose deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin, highlighting the need for treatment services to be more accessible for people at risk of overdose. Today’s action expands the availability of treatment for New Mexican’s addicted to opioids.
According to Snehal Bhatt, M.D., Addiction Psychiatric Specialist with UNM Hospital,
“Blame and stigma will not change this problem. Rejecting someone or isolating them won’t change the problem. We tend to shame or ignore those with addiction. Stigma erodes confidence that opioid addiction is a real illness and that it is treatable. We are not our disease. We have an individual story to tell. We have a name. We have a history. We have a personality. We have a family. We have a community.”
New Mexicans struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by visiting www.DoseOfReality.com. The Dose of Reality Treatment Works campaign is a joint effort of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Services Division and the New Mexico Opioid Hub. Funding for these new treatment services was provided as part of a $7 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Grant.
The Human Services Department provides services and benefits to 1,107,169 New Mexicans through several programs including: the Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Child Support Program and several Behavioral Health Services.