AZ reports 191 possible opioid overdoses, 15 deaths in one week - SanTanValley.com

AZ reports 191 possible opioid overdoses, 15 deaths in one week

AZ reports 191 possible opioid overdoses, 15 deaths in one week
AZ reports 191 possible opioid overdoses, 15 deaths in one week

The Arizona Department of Health Services said Monday that emergency responders reported nearly 200 possible opioid overdoses in a single week, 15 of which turned fatal.

The new data for the week of June 15-22 was part of the Arizona opioid epidemic emergency response create in the wake of Gov. Doug Ducey’s declaration of a health crisis earlier this month.

On June 13, the governor issued an executive order requiring that overdose incidents be reported to AZDHS within 24 hours.

AZDHS reported 191 possible overdoses and 15 deaths during the week of June 15-22. Numbers posted on the AZDHS webpage dedicated to the opioid epidemic showed that 102 doses of naloxone, an overdose antidote also known as Narcan, were administered outside a hospital setting. In addition, pharmacies distributed 51 naloxone kits.

Of the potential opidoid overdoses reported June 15-22, 62 percent involved men.

In addition, “18 Arizona babies were born with possible drug-related withdrawal symptoms,” according to the report.

Most of the incidents were in Maricopa County. Only Apache, Greenlee and Cochise counties did not report any overdoses for that time period.

"This new, real-time data gives us a clear picture we didn't have before," Ducey said in a news release. "One life lost to these highly addictive drugs is too many. One more person becoming hooked is no longer an option. Our public health response will begin working on targeted solutions to curb this opioid epidemic."

"In addition to the data collection, we are currently working to train over 700 law enforcement and emergency medical services, or EMS providers, on naloxone administration," said Dr. Cara Christ, director of AZDHS. "Our training will expand to public health, clinicians, and pharmacists, to share knowledge on overdose recognition and treatment, naloxone administration, opioid-related reporting, appropriate prescribing practices, and medication assisted treatment."

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