May 17, 2019 – Tribal leaders, community members and public health workers are seeking to reduce opioid and substance abuse among Native Americans. Increased use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs has reached epidemic levels in the U.S. and has led tribes to coordinate with interested parties to examine prevention efforts, treatment, recovery and laws governing the drugs. The opioid crisis was among top issues discussed at the National Indian Health Board’s annual National Tribal Public Health Summit. This year’s gathering was held in Albuquerque, bringing together leaders and health experts focused on improving the overall wellbeing of tribal communities.
NMiF correspondent Antonia Gonzales speaks with health experts who are focused on pressing public health needs in tribal communities.
March 15, 2019 – Homelessness is a persistent problem in New Mexico and officials in the state’s largest city and in Bernalillo County are rolling out new strategies to help people get off the streets. These include plans for a new, full-service shelter and more supportive housing. They also include connecting people facing homelessness with behavioral health services when they need them because many are grappling with mental health issues. But will these proposals work, and how are they building on current programs? Beyond immediate needs, how will they help people get into permanent stable housing? In this segment we talk with officials from the city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County as well as nonprofit service providers helping the homeless.
Legislative note: House Bill 657 earned endorsements from dozens of lawmakers. It proposed funding a study of affordable housing in and around Albuquerque, which is closely linked to lifting people out of chronic homelessness. With just hours left in the legislative session, $205,000 is earmarked for the study. It’s part of the so-called junior budget bill, which allots millions of dollars in surplus funding for one-time expenses that are important to lawmakers. More than half a dozen such expenditures have to do with efforts to deal with homelessness.