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Rural Opioid Grants Target Mostly White Counties, None In New Mexico

Congress boosted the budget for the battle against the opioid epidemic this year, and a chunk of it—$100 million—is slated for treatment and prevention in rural communities. But something about how lawmakers chose to prioritize that money caught a New Mexico health official by surprise: the funding is focused on counties that are mostly white.

For decades, Rio Arriba County has had one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the United States. It’s No. 2 over the last couple of years, according to recent data. Lauren Reichelt is the Health and Human Services director there. "Because we have been fighting it for so long, we have had access to resources—maybe not to the degree that we have a need," she said.


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