- Associated Press - Friday, January 15, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and the top prosecutors for more than two dozen other states have sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asking the agency to quickly adopt new guidelines for prescribing opioids.

Balderas cited a prescription drug and heroin addiction epidemic in New Mexico as a reason joining in supporting the CDC to speedily adopt guidelines that indicate patients, in some cases, can be treated for pain with lower doses or alternative methods.

The letter dated Wednesday was signed by 36 attorneys general.

Federal data from 2014, the most recent year available, show New Mexico was among the top five states for drug overdose rates in the country.

Drug overdoses - particularly those from prescription opioid painkillers - has become a priority issue for the Atlanta-based CDC.

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