Arizona’s Opioid Epidemic

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Arizona’s Opioid Epidemic 

The Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has hit many states across the nation. It is a crisis that is seen on a local and national level. Prescription opioids, as well as illegal opioids such as heroin, are highly addictive. These drugs can be deadly. The opioid crisis has hit Arizona as well. In Arizona alone, more than two people every day die from opioid overdoses. In 2016 the Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, declared a state of emergency. The number of opioid deaths in 2016 had grown at an alarming rate and something needed to be done. This put Arizona on the path toward action and towards approaching this crisis. The overall goal is to prevent opioid addiction and to reduce the number of opioid overdoses in Arizona.

To combat against the opioid crisis in Arizona, Ducey implemented the Opioid Action Plan and the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. On May 29, 2018, Governor Ducey called an end to the public health emergency. Although the official state of emergency on opioids in Arizona has ended, the fight to save lives continues. Arizona is doing whatever it can to turn the tide on the opioid epidemic.

Opioids are highly addictive, and therefore should be prescribed to patients with caution. It is important that medical professionals balance the appropriate treatment of pain with safe prescribing practices. Patients should be made aware of the risk of taking opioids as well as the proper at-home use of them. Medical professionals can help this crisis by making sure that they are safely prescribing opioids. This can lead to improved patient safety, reduced harm, and prevent unintended consequences. Since opioids are such an addictive drug this should be common practice among medical professionals. More preventative measures should be made across Arizona in order to combat the issue of opioid addiction.

In 2016 there were 1,497 drug overdose deaths. Over half of these deaths were due to opioids. That is a large percentage of overdoses from opioids alone. It is important that cities and states take this issue seriously. This is a crisis that needs to be looked into and taken seriously. Since 2012 the number of heroin deaths alone has tripled. Those that begin taking opioids as a medication never intend on becoming addicted to it. In order to combat the opioid crisis communities need to come together to fight against the wave of opioid misuse.

Those Affected

The opioid crisis is hitting all areas of the population. Addiction to this drug isn’t found only in older populations or younger ones. Those that struggle with an opioid addiction range from the young to old. This includes teenagers, parents, and even grandparents. Opioid addictions also come from all socio-economic backgrounds. This makes it an issue for everyone across the board. Addiction can have a lot of negative effects on a community. Those that struggle with addiction may ruin relationships with loved ones, lose their job, or even run into financial issues. Being addicted to a drug is powerful and it can often affect an individual’s behavior and decisions.