- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico health officials report a decrease in the amount of prescription pain relievers dispensed by pharmacies while the number of patients remained the same.

The Department of Health and the state Board of Pharmacy say the board’s monitoring program shows there was a 10 percent decrease from 2012 to 2013 in the amount of prescription opioids such as morphine or oxycodone dispensed by pharmacies.

Health Secretary Retta Ward says the decrease in prescribed pain medications being dispensed is a step in the right direction because it reduces chances the drugs will be abused.