The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico (RWJF Center) released the final report on Senate Memorial 18 New Mexico Drug Task Force.

Introduced in 2011 by Sen. Bernadette Sanchez, the task force, chaired by the RWJF Center to complete a statewide review and recommend ways to alleviate the negative consequences associated with the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, continued the work initiated in 2010 under Senate Memorial 33.

The memorial recognizes the harm that alcohol and other drugs cause, and acknowledges their impact on the criminal justice and corrections systems.

"The report is a call to action for breaking the cycle of alcohol and drug abuse in N.M. with proven, cost-effective preventive and treatment strategies," said RWJF Center's Associate Director William Wiese.

Among the topics addressed in the report are stemming the excessive flow of prescription opioids, which have markedly contributed to N.M. overdose deaths, greater distribution of life-saving antidotes to reverse opioid overdose and building adequate systems to treat drug use disorders.

"It is our hope that this report spurs legislators and community leaders to take actions that more fully address the issues arising from drug and alcohol abuse in N.M.," said Robert Valdez, executive director of the RWJF Center. "The Task Force offers many recommendations for improvements."

Wiese chaired the Task Force that was  made up of doctors, policy makers, government officials and educators committed to helping improve and reverse the devastating effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

The report is available at: New Mexico Drug Task Force Findings and Final Report.