Increased Coordination among Law Enforcement Agencies, Improved Access to, and Onsite Delivery of Life-Saving Medication to be Announced

First Event of National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week
to be held September 19

Photos by Clarissa DuBois, Cyd Gallery

ALBUQUERQUE –  U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has designated the week of September 18, 2016, as National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week, and U.S. Attorneys throughout the country are sponsoring events geared towards increasing awareness and developing solutions to the growing epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse in our country during the awareness week.
In New Mexico, the New Mexico Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Initiative, a partnership between the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will host a series of education events during National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week.  Bruce G. Ohr, Associate Deputy Attorney General and Director of DOJ’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program, will participate in the HOPE Initiative’s events.
One key component in the fight against addiction and overdose death is the availability of life-saving medications like Naloxone.  Naloxone is a prescription drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose; it is easy to administer and safe to use.  U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Dr. Joanna G. Katzman, Director of the UNM Pain Clinic, will launch the HOPE Initiative’s Naloxone Project during a press conference at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 19, 2016 at the Hotel Andaluz in Albuquerque, N.M.  The goal of the Naloxone Project is to enlist law enforcement agencies throughout New Mexico to join HOPE’s life-saving efforts by implementing Naloxone protocols and carrying Naloxone.  U.S. Attorney Martinez and Dr. Katzman will be joined by Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis, Albuquerque City Councilor Diane Gibson, and representatives of law enforcement agencies that are carrying Naloxone, or are seeking to do so.  Discussion details from this event will be posted to the NM HOPE Initiative website and available to the public at
WHO:              Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G. Ohr
                        U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez
                        Dr. Joanna G. Katzman, Director of the UNM Pain Clinic
                        Albuquerque City Council President Dan Lewis
                        Albuquerque City Councilor Diane Gibson
                        Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Burge, BIA
                        Group Supervisor Richard Stark, DEA
                        New Mexico State Police Chief Pete N. Kassetas
                        Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales III
                        Rio Arriba Sheriff James Lujan
                        Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia
                        Taos County Sheriff Jeffrey Hogrefe
                        Rio Rancho Police Chief Michael Geier
                        Captain Randy Sanchez, Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office
                        Major Gabriel Gonzales, Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office
                        Rio Rancho Deputy Chief Paul Rogers
                        Mark Payne, Executive Director of New Mexico HIDTA
                        Jack Jones, Executive Director, New Mexico Sheriffs Association
                        Capt. Sonny Leeper, Capt. APD (Retired)
                        Participant List in Formation
WHAT:          Press conference to announce HOPE’s Naloxone Project
WHEN:          Monday, September 19, 2016 at 10:00 am
WHERE:       Hotel Andaluz (downtown Albuquerque) – Majorca Room
                     125 Second Street N.W., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
(hotel entrance at southeast corner of 2nd & Copper)
Complimentary valet parking are located on Copper Street
Note: Additional street parking is available near hotel/downtown area
NOTE: All media must present government-issued photo I.D. (i.e., driver’s license) and valid media credentials.  Media may begin to arrive at 9:45 am.  Inquiries regarding logistics should be directed to Alyssa Ferda at 505-224-1480 or
            The HOPE Initiative was launched in January 2015 by the UNM Health Sciences Center and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in response to the national opioid epidemic, which has had a disproportionately devastating impact on New Mexico.  Opioid addiction has taken a toll on public safety, public health and the economic viability of our communities.  Working in partnership with the DEA, the Bernalillo County Opioid Accountability Initiative, Healing Addiction in our Community (HAC), the Albuquerque Public Schools and other community stakeholders, HOPE’s principal goals are to protect our communities from the dangers associated with heroin and opioid painkillers and reducing the number of opioid related deaths in New Mexico.   The HOPE Initiative is comprised of five components:  (1) prevention and education; (2) treatment; (3) law enforcement; (4) reentry; and (5) strategic planning.  Learn more about the New Mexico HOPE Initiative at

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Kyle Stake