To end the opioid epidemic, let’s break the system.
A silo approach – with health care, the pharmaceutical industry, the criminal justice system and local government confined to separate camps – has only prolonged the crisis. Now, we need a radical rethinking of how communities can come together to treat people with substance-use disorders to get us out of it.
In New Mexico, we have weathered our own opioid crisis for many years and are starting to see signs of progress. For the first time since 1999, New Mexico dropped off the list of top 10 states for overdose deaths in 2016 and our state recently received high marks from the National Safety Council for requiring prescriber education, implementing prescribing guidelines and improving data tracking, among other areas.
But, like communities across the country, we know there is more, much more, to do.