New Mexico is one of many states suffering from an opioid epidemic. Stories about states battling the grips of overdose and the overwhelming instances of treatment, hospitalization, and death of addicts have been the focus of national media lately.
Last November, Bernalillo County voters overwhelmingly (69%) supported funding new mental health services through a small 1/8-cent increase in local gross receipts tax. This Tuesday, the Bernalillo County Commission will hear from the public before their vote to put that plan into action. Most of us know someone – a family member or friend – affected by mental health services, and even those of us who don’t read the headlines and know that Bernalillo County is experiencing a mental health crisis. But even though we all live it, and 69% of voters approved it, anti-progressive groups are organizing to turn out Tuesday to put a stop to the plan. Let’s be clear: we have a moral obligation to help those who can’t help themselves, and voters overwhelmingly agreed to chip in to make it happen.