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Mayor Strikes at Youth Opiate Epidemic

Mayor Berry's anti-heroin initiative recommended for $100,000 in funding.

Albuquerque, NM - $100,000 for funding in association with Mayor Berry's Working Group on Heroin and Opioids has been recommended for approval by the Albuquerque Business Education Compact (ABEC). The Albuquerque Business Education Compact (ABEC) is a partnership of business, education and local government in the greater Albuquerque, New Mexico community, charged with overseeing and recommending funding for "at-risk" youth programs.

The funding which must be approved by the City Council will provide valuable resources to the City's Family and Community Services Department who are working in conjunction with the Heroin Awareness Committee to develop a public awareness campaign concerning opioid use among youth in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, and to initiate the planning process for additional treatment options for local youth.

"We are very thankful that ABEC made the decision to support this effort to combat opioid use among our youth," Mayor Richard J. Berry said. "We simply must push this effort forward to safeguard our community."

Opioid Working Group

Mayor Berry convened his Opioid Working Group to address issues that have lead to tragic outcomes for a number of Albuquerque families who's children have suffered or died from opioid and heroin addictions. The working group is made up of parents of youth who have experienced opioid addiction, professionals who work with addicted young people as well as members of FCS's Health and Human Services Division that funds behavioral health services and substance abuse treatment programs.

"As a parent who has felt the personal pain of watching a child battle this addiction, I am very excited to hear about this funding opportunity. Education and awareness is a critical component to addressing the opiate epidemic in our community. The Heroin Awareness Committee is happy to be partnering with the City of Albuquerque to help make this happen," said Jennifer Weiss, President of the Heroin Awareness Committee.

Once funds are appropriated, which could be as early as the next City Council meeting, the group will create a general awareness campaign about the use of heroin and misuse of prescription drugs targeted at various audiences including students, teachers, parents, coaches, pharmacists, dentists, and doctors. The funding will also be used to address the longer term goal of creating better local treatment options.

"This is a move in the right direction and we are looking forward to City Council support for this important issue," said Mayor Berry.