Opioid Resources

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) recognizes the urgent need to address the opioid use, abuse, and addiction epidemic plaguing our communities. Opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 1999, along with sales of prescription opioid drugs. From 2013 to 2014, the number of deaths attributed to opioid overdose increased by almost 20% in New Mexico, resulting in the second highest overdose death rate in the nation. In an August 2016 letter, US Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., addressed the health crisis and asked for a commitment from clinicians to help end this epidemic.

BCBSNM is committed to help end this epidemic and has gathered information to help identify patterns of abuse and addiction, guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about prescribing opioids, and the avoidance of the dangerous combination of opioids and benzodiazepines1,2. We hope you find the resources useful in your efforts to provide quality care for your patients.

Learn more about the surgeon general's initiative to help end this epidemic by visiting the TurnTheTideRx website.

Contact the BCBSNM Pharmacy Department for more information or if you have any questions, gp-pharmacy@bcbsil.com.

  • CDC Resources

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides valuable research, data collection and analysis, and develops guidelines and policies to educate and assist providers in tackling the opioid overdose epidemic. Visit the CDC's Opioid Overdose website  to learn more about the epidemic and its devastating impact on our communities.

    Additional CDC resources are available on the TurnTheTideRx  website. They include:

    • Turn The Tide Pocket Guide
    • CDC Flier Non Opioid Treatment for Chronic Pain
    • Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
    • Checklist for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
    • Why Guidelines for Primary Care Providers?
    • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPS)
    • Calculating Total Daily Dose of Opioids for Safer Dosage
    • Assessing Benefits and Harms of Opioid Therapy
  • Appropriate Opioid Prescribing

    Project ECHO®

    Project ECHO (New Mexico Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), administered by the Regents of the University of New Mexico, for its public operation known as the Health Sciences Center, is an innovative healthcare program developed to treat chronic and complex diseases in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico. Through the use of technology, Project ECHO bridges the gap between urban healthcare specialties and clinicians in rural settings. The Chronic Pain & Headache TeleECHO Clinic (ECHO Pain) facilitates a multifaceted approach to chronic pain by incorporating a team of specialists that support the primary care clinicians in rural communities who lack the resources necessary to sufficiently understand the management of pain. Visit the Project ECHO  website to learn more.

    Project ECHO® is a registered trademark of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

    NM Board of Pharmacy Prescription Monitoring Program

    The New Mexico Board of Pharmacy's Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) provides information regarding the prescription of controlled substances in order to prevent the improper or illegal use of the controlled substance, and is not intended to infringe on the legitimate prescribing of a controlled substance by a prescribing practitioner acting in good faith and in the course of professional practice.

    Visit the NM Prescription Monitoring Program

    • Register with the PMP to become an authorized user
    • Access PMP Resources, Regulations, Statistics, and Related Links
    • Subscribe to the PMP Newsletter

    Regulatory Agencies

  • Risks of Opiates and Benzodiazepines

  • BCBSNM Lock-in Program and Case Management

    Lock-in Program

    BCBSNM's Pharmacy Department monitors claims data for patterns that may indicate prescription drug overuse or abuse. Such patterns include the use of multiple prescribers for schedule II drugs, doses in excess of the Morphine Equivalent Dose limit, and potentially dangerous combinations of drugs (e.g. opioids and benzodiazepines). One option we may employ, when these patterns are recognized, is the PCP and Pharmacy Lock-in Program. Using this program, we may restrict a member to one pharmacy and/or one provider (with the provider's consent) in order to obtain coverage for their prescriptions. Working in conjunction with our Care Coordination Program, we are able to help these members navigate the healthcare system more appropriately and also help them obtain assistance, if needed. Providers are also better equipped to manage these complex issues with their patients when the PCP and Pharmacy Lock-in Program is applied.

    Case Management

    Case managers are registered nurses or other trained professionals who help members better access covered services they may need. Learn more about BCBSNM Case Management.

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment

    SAMHSA Provider Lookup

    Naloxone Materials

    Naloxone is an FDA approved medication used in the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to counter overdose by opioids such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. Naloxone blocks opioid receptor sites, reversing the toxic effects of the overdose. Naloxone is administered when a patient is showing signs of opioid overdose. Naloxone is also added to buprenorphine as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to decrease the likelihood of diversion and misuse of the combination drug product.

    Additional Resources:

    Additional Resources on Prescribing Buprenorphine

Related Resources:

1. Gudin JA, et al. Risks, Management, and Monitoring of Combination Opioid, Benzodiazepines, and/or Alcohol Use. Postgrad Med. 2013 Jul; 125(4): 115 130. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4057040/ 

2. FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns about serious risks and death when combining opioid pain or cough medicines with benzodiazepines; requires its strongest warning. (2016, August 31). Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm518473.htm 

3. SAMHSA Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.The DAWN Report: Benzodiazepines in Combination with Opioid Pain Relievers or Alcohol: Greater Risk of More Serious ED Visit Outcomes. (2014, December 18). Rockville, MD.

The foregoing material is for informational purposes only and is not a representation or warranty with respect to the suitability of any drug or treatment for a particular diagnosis or patient, nor is it a substitute for the independent medical judgment of a health care provider. Health care providers are instructed to use their own best medical judgment based upon all available information and the condition of the patient in determining a course of treatment which remains the provider's sole responsibility. Regardless of any benefit or coverage determination, the final decision regarding any drug or treatment is between the patient and the health care provider.