EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – New Mexico is getting $9.4 million in grants to fight substance abuse and the opioid epidemic, particularly in tribal communities.

Members of the state’s congressional delegation said the bulk of the money ($7.53 million) will go to the New Mexico Department of Human Services. More than $1.1 million is going to five Sandoval Indian pueblos and the rest to the Taos and Ohkay Owingeh pueblos and El Centro Family Health, which runs clinics in the northern part of the state.

The grants are coming from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A lot of the funds will go toward addiction treatment, recovery services, overdose prevention and reducing neonatal abstinence syndrome among newborns exposed to opioids before birth.

A total of 338 New Mexico residents died of drug overdoses involving opioids in 2018, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Opioids include heroin, pain relievers available by prescription and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil.

“The opioid epidemic continues to devastate many of our tribal and rural communities. This funding is an important step toward ensuring providers are equipped with the resources needed to provide life-saving treatment and recovery services to our tribal communities,” said U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-New Mexico.

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