All of the steps that have been made in the past 1-2 years, are already starting to pay off, with initial signs that the rate of opioid overdoses has slowed down in its runaway growth. While Arizonans hope to see not just slowing, but a reversal of the Arizona opioid addiction trends, this is no doubt some good news that Arizonans need.
2018 Arizona Prescription Opioid Statistics
With Arizona’s signing of the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, came some new statistics and insights into just how prescription opioid abuse and addiction has affected Arizona.
- 812 Arizonans died of a suspected opioid overdose in just 6 months (between June 2017 and January 2018).
- 5,202 Arizonans suffered a suspected opioid overdose.
- 455 Arizona babies were born with NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome – Addicted to Opioids).
- Over 6,000,000 opioids were found to be written by just 4 Arizona doctors in a 12 month period (in a county with a population of just 200,000).
- 75% of heroin users in treatment admit that their addiction started with prescription painkiller opioids.
- In 2016 almost 1,000 Arizona residents were found to be in possession of up to four different prescriptions from different doctors.
- Governor Doug Ducey set limits on prescription opioid prescription amounts via Executive Order. This EO limits the first fill of prescription opioids to a seven day supply (only in cases where the State of Arizona is paying for the prescription).
- Arizona’s Healthcare Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is the leading payer for substance abuse treatment, drug rehab, and addiction treatment in the state of Arizona.
- Investments into early addiction intervention, behavioral health counseling, and drug and alcohol detox in Arizona – through AHCCCS – has increased steadily over the past 4 years
(2015: $162,939,257 | 2016: $207,603,832 | 2017: $236,316,548).
- Arizona spends a total of $265 million each year in substance abuse treatment and addiction prevention.
- Prior to the Enacting of the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, only 47% of those that were treated for an overdose in Arizona emergency rooms were referred for addiction treatment.
- 3,429 doses of Naloxone were administered by emergency medical services and law enforcement in the 6 months between June 2017 and January 2018. This does not include the number of doses that were administered in hospitals.
- 86% of those that survived an opioid or heroin overdose in Arizona received Naloxone administered by emergency medical services and law enforcement.
- Only 20% of Arizona primary care physicians stated that they were “very prepared to identify alcohol or drug dependence.” This means that 80% of Arizona doctors cannot confidently spot addiction in patients.
- 40% of those in addiction treatment programs in Arizona state that their addiction was not identified by their doctors (primary care physicians).