Opioids Overdoses, Deaths Rise In Arizona's Latest Numbers

Published: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 8:59am

State health officials continue to gather real-time data on Arizona’s opioid epidemic, and the numbers keep getting worse.

The number of suspected deaths from opioid overdoses has gone up almost every week since the state started collecting real-time data in June.

Officials reported 57 suspected fatalities last week, which is a 54 percent increase over the previous week, and the highest weekly total so far.

The decision to declare a state of emergency in Arizona was way overdue, said Kirk Bowden, chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Program at Rio Salado College.

“We’ve had an opioid epidemic for well over 15 years,” Bowden said.

The number of suspected opioid overdoses in Arizona fell for two straight weeks before climbing to 251 last week. It’s the second highest weekly total so far.

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