As overdoses & addictions to heroin and opioid-opiate prescription pain killers rise in the northeast, so too is Arizona seeing similar patterns of drug abuse.
As the nation’s northeast region contends with unprecedented numbers of heroin and opioid/opiate overdoses and addictions, western states like Arizona are now seeing similar patterns of drug abuse. What generally begins as a prescription painkiller habit with drugs like oxycodone (Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicoding & Norco), oxycontin and others, is often evolving into full-blown heroin addictions. And unfortunately too many out there with little or no street knowledge, as it pertains to heroin use at least, that lack of experience commonly results in overdoses and related deaths.
Unfortunately there are no simple answers or shortcuts when it comes to such matters involving substance abuse issues. Nonetheless, we consider it to be of foremost importance that drug addicts and their families be made aware of the direction this epidemic is going…
Here are some devastating statistics on drug abuse and drug overdose as reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services:
- 1,052 people required emergency room treatment for prescription drug overdoses in 2014, up from 1,018 in 2013 and heroin overdoses increased from 521 in 2013 to 605 in 2014
- 75% of drug abuse begins with legal prescription drugs
- 494 deaths were recorded in 2014 from pharmaceutical opioids and benzodiazepines, a 16 percent increase from the previous year
- Heroin-caused deaths jumped from 125 in 2013 to 180 in 2014, a 44 percent increase
The state of Arizona has been taking various actions as well as legislation to respond and remedy the rise in drug addiction, prescription drug abuse, and drug overdose including:
- The Arizona Substance Abuse Task Force—a coalition of leading substance abuse experts, providers and community members focused on addressing and reversing the growing epidemic of drug abuse and addiction in Arizona communities by finding the best treatments and reducing barriers to care
- The Arizona Border Strike Force Bureau to stop illegal drugs coming across the border. In the first four months, the Strike Force made over 300 arrests and seized 4,400 Pounds of marijuana, 194 Pounds Of Meth, And 21 Pounds Of Heroin
- Partnered with Walgreens to implement safe medication-disposal bins in 18 Walgreens stores across Arizona to allow people to dispose of opiate-based painkillers and other leftover prescription drugs
- Legislation allowing Naloxone oo be dispensed to a person who is at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose or to others who are in a position to assist that person
- Medical practitioners in Arizona are required to obtain a patient utilization report from the controlled substances prescription monitoring program’s central database before prescribing certain controlled substances in order to deter doctor shopping
The time has come for addiction treatment centers, and society as a whole, to stand up and take proactive measures in the fight against heroin and opiate-opioid pain killer abuse! In addition to recovery services and other support services, there is a wealth of information available throughout the web for those in need of help…
If you or your loved one is afflicted with drug addiction, prescription drug abuse, opiate or heroin addiction, please reach out to Scottsdale Recovery Center 24/7 at 602.346.9142.
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