Bernalillo County Commissioners to look at behavioral health topics

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Tuesday night, Bernalillo County Commissioners will be looking at some big behavioral health topics. The main goal they say for some of these proposals is to not only help addicted inmates but to possibly keep them from re-offending.

The first will provide methadone to break the cycle of addiction for individuals at the Metropolitan Detention Center and the county’s Metropolitan Assessment and Treatment Facility. This program has already been going on for the past decade at MDC for inmates who were already in a program prior to their arrest. This new proposal would be an expansion of that program which would allow those who enter jail with an opioid use disorder to enter the methadone program. They will also have access to resources to continue that treatment once they’re released.

The second initiative involves the drug naloxone which can reverse the effects of an overdose. The county says too many inmates face the possibility of overdosing once they’re released. This particular plan would provide the drug to users or those who know users to possibly save their lives.

When somebody gets released, if they’ve been trained they will get the naloxone upon release they could use for friends, family, you know anybody that they might encounter who might need it,” said Maggie Hart Stebbins, Bernalillo County Commissioner for District 3.

Both of these initiatives are funded by grants through places like the New Mexico Department of Health.

Another idea commissioners will look at is to gather proposals for peer intervention groups to help addicted individuals. This initiative was funded by a health tax from voters. Commissioners estimate that if everything is approved, all the new programs could be implemented by the beginning of April.

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