Real Time Opioid Data

For the first time, statewide opioid data is available in real time. Check out the details​ of the five categories of data we are now collecting.

Opioids are powerful painkillers that can be highly addictive. The impact of opioid misuse is significant in our communities and on the public health system. On June 1, 2017, the Arizona Department of Health Services released its latest data on opioid overdoses in Arizona showing the highest number of deaths in ten years. In 2016, 790 Arizonans died from opioid overdoses. The trend shows a startling increase of 74 percent over the past four years.

Choose a topic below:

Latest Updates

For the first time in our state, we are able to collect and report real time opioid-related data in the effort to address the growing epidemic in Arizona. The new enhanced surveillance reporting focuses on five key data points, which are outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order.

 

To assist those required to report data under the enhanced surveillance system, training for naloxone administration, opioid-related reporting, and overdose recognition and treatment is available on our Opioid Training Calendar.

Check out the latest opioid info on our Director’s Blog

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Opioid Background

Opioids include several prescription pain medications and illicit substances like heroin, which are highly addictive. It is important to balance the appropriate treatment of pain with safe prescribing practices and at-home use of prescribed medications. Safe prescribing and use of opioids can improve patient safety, reduce harm, and prevent unintended consequences.

The 2016 opioid report shows over half of the 1,497 drug overdose deaths last year were due to opioids as the primary cause of death. The number of heroin deaths alone has tripled since 2012.

Most opioid users never intend on getting hooked when they start taking the powerful medication. We must come together as a community to help turn the tide on opioid misuse.

Everyone has a role

  • Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals
  • Prescribers
  • First responders (police, EMS, and firefighters)
  • Community members

Our Call to Action

  • Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals:
    • Help us fill the treatment gap so more people will get the help they need.
    • In 2017, become Suboxone-waivered providers to help meet MAT needs statewide.
  • Prescribers:
    • Consider non-opioid alternatives when appropriate, and help safely taper patients on dangerously high doses.
    • Make sure patients understand the dangers of combining opioids with other medications that could cause an overdose.
  • First Responders (police, EMS, and firefighters):
    • Get trained on how to deliver life-saving naloxone and start carrying it with you in the field.
    • Work with your community providers to develop a referral system to get people into treatment.
  • Community members:
    • Help us educate family, friends and others at risk of overdosing about the importance of naloxone and the critical steps to take if overdose happens.
    • Talk with your children and convince them to steer clear of drugs and alcohol by staying active with healthy alternatives to drug use.
    • If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor about the medications you take.
    • If you suffer from chronic pain, talk with your doctor about non-opioid treatment options for pain management.
    • If you have a loved one who is misusing or abusing opioids, seek help, and talk with your doctor or pharmacist about prescribing the overdose reversal drug naloxone. You could very well save that loved one’s life.
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AZ Deaths from Opioids, 2016

Regularly updated counts of opioid-related deaths throughout our state in 2016.

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Law Enforcement & EMS

Standing Orders

Naloxone Requests

Opioids and Naloxone Resources for Law Enforcement, First Responders & Ambulance Personnel

Reporting Resources

Training on Opioid Overdose Recognition and Treatment

Arizona Law Enforcement Agencies Naloxone Administration Policies & Training Programs

Responder Safety Tips to Avoid or Respond to Exposure

The Bureau of EMS & Trauma System will post naloxone administration program information as it is received.

Selected Literature

Laboratory and Environmental

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Training

This calendar describes training opportunities for public health, clinicians, law enforcement agencies, pharmacists and EMS personnel. Opportunities include learning about overdose recognition and treatment, naloxone administration, and opioid-related reporting. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) training and CME will be posted here in the future.

*For law enforcement agencies who complete the Free Overdose Trainings – vouchers for free naloxone will be included

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Reporting

On June 13, Governor Doug Ducey releases Executive Order for Enhanced Surveillance Advisory, following the state of emergency declaration for the opioid epidemic. This order changes the expectation for providing data related to opioid use by reporters around the state.

If you are prohibited by Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter I, Subchapter A, Part 2 from reporting, at this time, you are not required to report under the Enhanced Surveillance Advisory (Executive Order 2017-04).

Required Reporters Health condition to be reported Reporting System
Healthcare professionals licensed under A.R.S. Titles 32 and 36
  • Suspected opioid overdoses
  • Suspected opioid deaths
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
MEDSIS
Training
New Account
Administrators of a healthcare institution or correctional facility
  • Suspected opioid overdoses
  • Suspected opioid deaths
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
MEDSIS
Training
New Account
Emergency Medical Services/Ambulance agencies (first response agencies, ground and air ambulance agencies)
  • Suspected opioid overdoses
  • Suspected opioid deaths
  • Naloxone doses administered
AZ-PIERS
Training
New Account
Law enforcement officers
  • Suspected opioid overdoses
  • Suspected opioid deaths
  • Naloxone doses administered
AZ-PIERS
Training
New Account
Medical examiners
  • Suspected opioid deaths
MEDSIS
Training
New Account
Pharmacists
  • Naloxone doses dispensed
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)
Training
New Account

Licensed Providers and Healthcare Facilities, Medical Examiners, Correctional Health

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Naloxone Information

Naloxone, or Narcan®, can reverse opioid overdoses. On June 5, 2017, Governor Doug Ducey issued his first public health emergency declaration that calls for a statewide effort to reduce opioid deaths in Arizona. This declaration follows the release of ADHS' 2016 Arizona Opioid Report which details that 790 Arizonans died from opioid overdoses – an average of more than two people per day.

Information for the Public

Naloxone Requests for Law Enforcement Agencies

Arizona Law Enforcement Agencies Naloxone Administration Policies & Training Programs

Pharmacists

Literature

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Laboratory Screening

In order to improve the understanding of which opioids are responsible for causing overdoses in our state, the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory has established the capacity to screen blood samples. Hospitals may submit a specimen for any patient suspected to have experienced an opioid overdose. Postmortem specimens will not be tested, at this time. Instructions for collecting, packaging, and shipping can be found in the Toxicology Guide on our Shipping and Receiving site. The Microbiology Submission Form – Clinical must be completed for all samples submitted with all fields highlighted in yellow completed and the test Toxicology Surveillance Panel selected.

To arrange for the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory courier or find out when the courier picks up from your facility, please refer to the Courier Schedule or contact Shipping and Receiving at labreceiving@azdhs.gov or 602.542.1190. If you have any questions, please e-mail azopioid@azdhs.gov.

The substances that the test can identify are listed below. Additional substances may be added in the future:

Pharmaceutical Opiates Non-Pharmaceutical Opiates Other Substances
Buprenorphine Heroin Cocaine
Codeine THC
Dihydrocodeine
Fentanyl
Hydrocodone
Hydromorphone
Meperidine
Methadone
Morphine
Oxycodone
Oxymorphone
Pentazocine
Sufentanil
Tapentadol
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