Overdoses of illegal drugs dropped 8 percent last year in New Mexico, reports the Associated Press. The number of deaths caused by heroin dropped 21 percent, and deaths caused by cocaine and methamphetamine during the same period held steady, said the state health department. The death rate from unintentional overdoses of prescription drugs went up by 25 percent.
The University of New Mexico is working to combat a rise in prescription drug deaths though a project that uses telemedicine to teach rural primary-care providers how to treat complex, common diseases. Project Echo, began by treating hepatitis and expanded this year to treat opiate addictions with buprenorphine.””The problem of opiate overdoses is a scourge on every community in the United States, and it's not going to go away unless we focus on prevention and improving access to treatment,” said the health department’s Miriam Komaromy.