Here are resources for Arizonans with opioid use disorder

In 2021, a mean of 5 individuals per day in Arizona died of an opioid overdose, data from the Arizona Department of Health Services shows.

Arizona opioid overdose deaths greater than doubled between 2017 and 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic and fentanyl use exacerbating the issue.

Two elements driving continued overdoses are a rise in individuals turning to unlawful substances throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and in addition a proliferation of low cost fentanyl into Arizona. The state’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border is barely intensifying the issue with fentanyl, which is an affordable, extremely potent, artificial opioid.

Methamphetamine, a stimulant, and fentanyl are essentially the most generally used illicit medicine concerned in overdoses within the state, although fentanyl is turning into more and more dominant.

Those utilizing fentanyl are typically youthful than these utilizing methamphetamine.

Here are 5 issues to find out about opioid use disorder in Arizona:

Kids are particularly weak to fentanyl

Brightly coloured fentanyl tablets may be seen on this picture launched by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Port of Nogales.
courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Port of Nogales

In some instances, children are shopping for low cost tablets through individuals they meet on social media.

Some children imagine the tablets they are shopping for are pharmaceutical medicine like Xanax and Adderall, not figuring out that they have been illegally manufactured and comprise fentanyl.

Since fentanyl is so potent, a few of these children find yourself overdosing and even dying, which is why the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has a marketing campaign titled “One Pill Can Kill.”

Fentanyl overdose deaths amongst children 17 and youthful in Arizona greater than doubled between 2019 and 2020.

Know the indicators of an opioid overdose

Any opioid overdose is life-threatening and requires fast emergency consideration. 

If somebody will not be respiratory, is struggling to breathe or unresponsive, name their identify and rub your knuckles on their chest (sternum-rub), officials with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System say.

If the individual is nonetheless unresponsive, they might be experiencing an overdose, in response to AHCCCS. Other indicators which will assist determine an overdose are blue or pale pores and skin coloration, small pupils, low blood strain, gradual coronary heart rate and gradual or shallow respiratory.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration lists the next indicators of an overdose. (Individuals might exhibit one ore extra signs):

  • Their face is extraordinarily pale and/or feels clammy to the contact.
  • Their physique goes limp.
  • Their fingernails or lips have a purple or blue coloration.
  • They begin vomiting or making gurgling noises.
  • They can’t be woke up or are unable to talk.
  • Their respiratory or heartbeat slows or stops.

Call 911 shortly; Arizona has an excellent Samaritan legislation that protects whoever studies an overdose

Don’t delay calling 911 if a good friend or beloved one has overdosed.

Arizona’s good Samaritan law prohibits a person who calls 911 to report an overdose from being charged or prosecuted for possession of a managed substance, so long as the proof emerged solely due to the 911 name.

Individuals might be prosecuted for different crimes, not drug-related, on the scene and arrested, the state legislation says.

After calling 911, know what to do 

It could also be arduous to inform whether or not an individual is excessive or experiencing an overdose. If you aren’t positive, deal with it like an overdose, the CDC says. Here’s what to do:

  • Call 911 instantly. (Most states have legal guidelines much like Arizona which will defend an individual who’s overdosing or the one who referred to as for assist from authorized hassle.)
  • Administer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone (often known by the brand name Narcan), if obtainable.
  • Try to maintain the individual awake and respiratory.
  • Lay the individual on their facet to stop choking.
  • Stay with the individual till emergency help arrives.

Here’s a video from the Arizona-based nonprofit Sonoran Prevention Works that reveals easy methods to use the nasal model of naloxone:

Fake pharmaceutical pills containing fentanyl seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Phoenix field office.
Fake pharmaceutical tablets containing fentanyl seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Phoenix discipline office.
Courtesy of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Phoenix discipline office

Another Sonoran Prevention Works video reveals easy methods to use naloxone administered with a needle and vial:

The Arizona Department of Health Services director issued a standing order on Nov. 11, 2017, that enables any Arizona-licensed pharmacist to dispense naloxone to any particular person with no prescription. 

Some insurance coverage will cover the price or a part of the price. Retail costs differ however common about $94.37 for a field containing two nasal sprays, in response to a recent search via GoodRx.

Naloxone is on the market free at varied neighborhood organizations, drug consciousness occasions and from some police stations. 

The Arizona nonprofit Sonoran Prevention Works has a software of the place the general public can discover free naloxone:

The Substance Abuse Coalition Leaders of Arizona maintains an inventory of neighborhood distribution websites for naloxone at

Hotlines, help teams and different resources will help

  • Never Use Alone is a hotline operated by volunteers. Illicit drug customers might name 800-484-3731 to have somebody keep on the road with them whereas they are utilizing and to make sure emergency medical companies are referred to as if the drug person at any level stops responding. Since it is operated by volunteers the hotline will not be obtainable 24/7. 
  • Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL): The Phoenix-based group was integrated as a Christian-run nonprofit in 2015 and has greater than two dozen teams within the Phoenix space and in Tucson. PAL could also be contacted by telephone at 480-300-4712 or by electronic mail at [email protected]
  • Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP): The group describes itself as for individuals who have lost somebody to substance use or dependancy. It has chapters in Canada and the U.S., together with in Arizona. 
  • Arizona Teen Lifeline: 800-248-TEEN (8336), which is on the market 24/7 and is an Arizona help line for teenagers operated by teenagers.
  • Sonoran Prevention Works: The Phoenix-based group works to enhance the lives of people that use medicine via street-based outreach, organizational capability constructing, and state-wide advocacy work. It gives naloxone and different provides and conducts HIV and Hepatitis C testing occasions. The group could also be contacted at 480-442-7886 or through electronic mail at [email protected]
  • The Substance Abuse Coalition Leaders of Arizona focuses on stopping substance misuse in youths:
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services OARLine (Opioid Assistance + Referral Line): 888-688-4222. The state launched the OARLine line in March 2018 in partnership with Arizona’s Poison and Drug Information Centers. It’s obtainable to supply data and referrals to the general public and for well being care clinicians to name for free session on sufferers with advanced ache or opioid use disorder.
  • Additional ADHS resources:
  • The U.S. authorities has a helpline for individuals looking for therapy at 800-662-HELP (4357) or at
  • Arizona’s Medicaid program, referred to as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, has an opioid therapy service locator:
  • The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a therapy locator:
  • More details about opioid use disorder and therapy for individuals enrolled in AHCCCS:
  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has a One Pill Can Kill marketing campaign:

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or at 602-444-8369. Follow her on Twitter @stephanieinnes.

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