Get Vaccinated Report Abuse/Neglect Sign up for E-news! Reproductive Health 988: 24/7 LIfeline
Home News Fentanyl Awareness Day highlights overdose prevention
David Barre
(505) 699-9237 Office

Fentanyl Awareness Day highlights overdose prevention

May 1, 2024 - Harm Reduction - Awareness

SANTA FE – This Fentanyl Awareness Day, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMHealth) is encouraging all New Mexicans to know the signs of fentanyl overdose and the methods of proper response. Fentanyl Awareness Day, recognized annually on May 7, is a chance to raise awareness about the risks of opioid use, educate the public about overdose prevention, and reduce stigma around substance use.

"Every overdose death is a preventable tragedy. Treatment and recovery are the answer to addiction, but you have to be alive to seek treatment," said Patrick Allen, NMHealth Secretary. "Every individual has the power to stop an overdose death and help begin the cycle that leads toward that recovery." 

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid prescribed for chronic, severe pain and is more potent than morphine or heroin. It is also illicitly manufactured in powder and pill forms. According to the most recent available data, in New Mexico in 2022, of the 711 fatal opioid overdoses, 87 percent (618) involved illicitly manufactured fentanyl.  

“Forty-two percent of Americans know someone who has died of an overdose,” said Dr. Miranda Durham, NMHealth’s Chief Medical Officer. “This is an urgent public health crisis. Know the signs of opioid overdose and know how to use naloxone.”  

NMHealth encourages New Mexico residents to speak up and reach out. Hotlines such as Never Use Alone (1-877-696-1996) and 988 are available if you or a loved one needs intervention or support with addiction. Call NMHealth’s helpline, 1-833-SWNURSE (1-833-796-8773), if you need help finding resources or appropriate care providers.  

Signs of an opioid overdose include: 

  • Slow or no breathing,  
  • Pale, cold or blue skin, 
  • Loss of consciousness, 
  • Choking. 

Naloxone, a safe and effective medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, is a critical tool in keeping an overdose from becoming fatal. If naloxone is not available, rescue breathing can keep oxygen supplied to vital organs until emergency services arrive. The Hepatitis and Harm Reduction Program at NMHealth wants all New Mexico residents to know how to administer naloxone and perform rescue breathing as part of basic first aid response.

The program offers naloxone at no charge online via mail-order and it can be shipped to any residence or P.O. Box in the state. The mail order system launched in September 2023 and has shipped more than 485 doses of the life-saving medication. Additionally, people can get naloxone at no cost at their local Public Health Office or for purchase at local pharmacies.

Fentanyl test strips are available and used to determine if a substance has been adulterated with fentanyl, allowing for an individual to make a more informed decision about their substance use. Fentanyl test strips are also available at community harm reduction providers and Public Health Offices free of charge.

Visit the NMHealth Harm Reduction website to order naloxone and find resources on how to perform rescue breathing. Visit the National Fentanyl Awareness Day website to learn about this important health observance.  

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Barre at (505) 699-9237 (Office) with your questions.

Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

El Día de Concienciación sobre el Fentanilo destaca la prevención de las sobredosis