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Press Release

MEDIA ADVISORY-- New Mexico Hope Initiative to Launch Naloxone Project

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
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

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 Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins, 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


Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G. Ohr

U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez

Dr. Joanna G. Katzman, Director of the UNM Pain Clinic

Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins

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


Press conference to announce HOPE’s Naloxone Project


Monday, September 19, 2016 at 10:00 am


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

Updated September 17, 2016

Community Outreach