Arizona has been fighting a severe drug problem for several years, and until now, they’re still battling the same problem. Through the years, the problem has worsened, and that’s because of illegal drugs like the opioid. Currently, the state is experiencing an opiate epidemic the whole nation is suffering as well.

This is no wonder as Arizona is just 400 miles away from the Mexican border and near a Mexican state named Sonora. These places are prominent as a hub of drug trafficking. Because of this, Arizona, which is a lovely place, is considered as the hub of the illegal drug trade in the country’s bi-coastal routes.

Opioids are drugs that produce morphine-like effects that relieve pain. It includes heroin, which is the illegal drug that mainly dominates the drug problem in Arizona. Oxycodone (OxyContin®), morphine, codeine, and more are opioid drugs that may be addictive if used unsupervised.

Alarming Opioid Statistics

This is the record of statistics provided by the ADHS:

  • From 2015 to 2016, there’s an increase of 16% in the number of deaths caused by opioid addiction.
  • A 74% surge over the past four years opioid-related deaths.
  • 2016, there’s a recorded 790 deaths caused by opioid overdose. On an estimate, there are two opioid-related deaths every day.
  • 790 recorded deaths; 482 cases from prescription opioids and the rest 308 were from heroin.
  • On the reported death statistics, they were mostly adults aging from 45 to 54. Second in the record were the adults aging from 25 to 34 with adults aging in 35 to 44 are close behind.

If this trend goes on until 2019, Arizona may be facing 1,000 opioid deaths every year with half of the cases resulting from heroin abuse.

Government’s Response

The governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, declared a statewide health emergency due to the devastating rise of people with drug addiction and its effects. In fact, last 2016 the state created a Substance Abuse Task Force in the hopes of solving the current drug problem in Arizona. But it didn’t.

The governor of the state has been giving his full attention on this issue especially there’s an alarming rise in opioid-related deaths. He aims to educate individuals in Arizona about the issue and give them information on how to help someone with an addiction to avoid further destruction.

They provided more resources to Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to study the problem through and find better solutions.

Causes of Opioid Epidemic

Many factors lead Arizona and the whole nation to this opioid crisis. Here are some of them:

  • Instead of using painkillers for a short-term acute pain, people are using it for chronic pain.
  • Misuse of painkillers.
  • Misuse of painkillers.
  • Patients who were addicted to prescription opioids turn to heroin if they’re not given the prescription drugs.

Other Drugs/Substances Causing Addiction in Arizona

Methamphetamine

Meth users in Arizona are usually adults aging from 31 to 40 years old that makes up 38% of the population of drug addicts in the state. Aside from Mexico, these drugs also come from home laboratories drug dealers and users put up in their backyard or kitchen. This makes addressing the problem even harder.

Cocaine

Cocaine users in Arizona use crack cocaine. The general users of cocaine are adults aging from 31 to 40 years old. It’s easily found on the streets of Arizona in crack and powder form.

Marijuana

You’ll find Marijuana users in Arizona aging from 21 to 30 years old. It can be bought in the borders of Mexico. Compared to the other drugs, this is what teenagers try at first. There has been a debate about marijuana being harmless and even cures some ailments.

Alcohol

This is an addiction often neglected by many. Many drug addicts who use heroin and other drugs drink alcohol as well. It is the most used substance all over the state. In fact, one in four residents of Arizona may have binge drinking over the past 30 days.

Possible Treatment for Drug Addiction

Whether it’s addiction to opioid, marijuana, or meth, addiction needs professional help. People who suffer from drug or substance addiction needs to go through a rehab process which includes detox and recovery. There’s too much intensity in addiction that makes it so hard to treat without professional help.

If you know someone from Arizona who’s suffering from addiction, get them professional help right away.

Cities of Arizona