Ariz. gov. declares state health emergency due to opioid epidemic

Officials said 790 Arizonans died of opioid overdoses last year

By EMS1 Staff

PHOENIX— The governor of Arizona declared a state emergency in reaction to the growing opioid epidemic.

Tucson News Now reported Governor Doug Ducey responded to the overdose problem by recognizing it as a statewide public health issue.

“As the number of opioid overdoses and deaths increase at an alarming rate, we must take action. It’s time to call this what it is — an emergency,” the governor said.

Ducey’s declaration means public health initiatives can take place at the state, local and private level.

Part of the plan initiative is to distribute naloxone to prevent overdose deaths. Better education methods and prescribing practices are also being developed.

The Arizona Department of Health Services’ report on opioid deaths state 790 Arizonans died of opioid overdoses in 2016, which is more than a 16 percent increase since 2015.

The report also predicts the number of annual deaths will grow to 1,000 by 2019 if the trend stays the same. 


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