Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

Attorney General Balderas Sends Letter to CDC on Opioid Drugs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14, 2016

Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas and 35 attorneys general sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to urge the speedy adoption of the CDC’s Proposed 2016 Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. New Mexico, like most of the nation, is battling an opioid and heroin addiction epidemic. The core message of the guidelines, that many patients can be treated with lower doses or alternative treatment methods, provides much-needed direction to doctors.

“In New Mexico, we are facing a prescription painkiller and heroin epidemic that is taking hold of our young people, devastating our families, and overwhelming our criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Balderas. “By stemming the flow of powerful opioid drugs we can begin to reduce painkiller addiction and the transition to heroin addiction in New Mexico. It’s time to act and I believe these guidelines are a good first step.”

The attorneys general write in the letter that the guidelines give “doctors the knowledge and confidence to prescribe opioids when appropriate, and to more safely manage patients on opioids. By better informing and guiding prescribers, these Guidelines will not only provide a string framework for providers, but they will also improve the access to opioids for patients for whom they are the best choice.”

The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

See attached for a copy of the letter that was delivered to the CDC.

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Raul Torrez

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The image is the New Mexico Department of Justice primary seal. This seal is framed with gold gradient rope and a slim gold bar followed by a thicker dark blue circular bar that has white text that reads, "State of New Mexico" at the bottom and "Department of Justice" at the top. At the center of the seal is a gradient circle with a dark blue roman-inspired Pillar in the shape of New Mexico.