SANTA FE (AP) – State health officials say New Mexico’s rate of drug overdose deaths has now dropped a second year in a row.
The Department of Health reports that there were 449 overdose deaths in 2013 for a rate of just under 22 deaths per 100,000 population. That compares with 521 deaths and a rate of just under 26 deaths per 100,000 population in 2011.
The department says the 2013 rate is the lowest since 2009 and that the two-year drop was the first since 1990.
The department says efforts to reduce the overdose death rate included steps to curb excessive prescribing of opioid pain relievers.