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Metro Beat: Anti-overdose drugs proposed for city buildings

Anti-overdose drugs would be available at Albuquerque’s community centers and other city buildings under a proposal by two city councilors.

The legislation, sponsored by Diane Gibson and Dan Lewis, is set to go before the full council Dec. 5.

The goal is to make it easier to prevent overdoses in a state hit hard by drug abuse. New Mexico has the second-highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the country.

The proposal would require the city to add naloxone – a drug that blocks the effects of heroin or other opioids – to first-aid kits in city buildings open to the public.

Naloxone goes by the brand-name Narcan. It can be sprayed in the nose of someone suffering an overdose.

The medication can’t be used to get high. It simply reverses the effects of heroin and similar drugs.

Down-and-out calls

City councilors want to try a new strategy for responding to “down and out” calls.

They unanimously adopted a proposal this month calling for a pilot program in which a rescue unit within the Albuquerque Fire Department will be made available for dispatch to nonlife-threatening calls involving a person who’s intoxicated in public.

The unit is supposed to free up police and fire resources for other calls.

The police and fire departments get about 41 down-and-out calls a day, and they comprise about 15 percent of all AFD calls.

The bill was sponsored by City Councilor Pat Davis, and Mayor Richard Berry signed it Nov. 21. It appropriates $100,000 for the fire department to buy supplies and equipment for the pilot program.

ART respite

Shoppers heading to Nob Hill and Old Town will get a break for the rest of the year from construction on the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.

In Nob Hill, there will be no construction between Girard and Washington. In Old Town, no construction will occur between Rio Grande and Rancho Seco.

Construction resumes Jan. 2.

Both shopping districts are popular during the holiday season, especially for people who want to buy from local merchants.

The Nob Hill Shop and Stroll is scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, and the Old Town event is from 5 to 9 on Friday night.

Dan McKay: