Ducey Declares State Emergency In Response To Opioid Epidemic

By Will Stone
Published: Monday, June 5, 2017 - 5:24pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 7:49am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has declared a statewide health emergency in response to the rise in deaths from opioids.

New state numbers show about a 16 percent increase in overdoses last year with nearly 800 people dying.

Heroin, in particular, has surged. The number of people who died from that drug has tripled in Arizona since 2012.

This growing death toll has led Ducey to declare a statewide emergency, which frees up funding so health officials can accelerate their response. That starts with figuring out how to get more regular, timely reporting about those dying from overdoses and ways the state can expand access to treatment, including naloxone.

Recently Ohio's attorney general sued drug manufacturers, claiming they misled doctors about the dangers of the drug.

A spokesman for Ducey says they are looking at all possible policies to curb the epidemic but that doesn’t necessarily have to include litigation.