Decrease in drug overdose deaths in 2015 around New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – State health officials say drug overdose deaths around New Mexico decreased 9 percent last year.

Preliminary mortality data shows the number of drug overdose deaths dropped from 540 in 2014 to 492 in 2015.

State Department of Health officials say drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury death in New Mexico and nationally, exceeding deaths from motor vehicle traffic crashes and falls.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation this year that requires opioid prescribers to check the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program the first time they prescribe drugs to a person and check the system every three months for repeat prescriptions.

She also signed legislation authorizing licensed prescribers to write standing orders to prescribe, dispense or distribute naloxone to community-based overdose prevention and education programs, first responders and others.

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