Arizona Releases Weekly Opioid Overdose Data

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 - 2:43pm

State officials have released the first set of real-time data on the opioid epidemic in Arizona.

Medical officials reported 191 suspected opiod overdoses last week that led to 15 fatalities throughout the state.

“We expected to see high numbers,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “But for one week, to have almost 200 overdoses, I think we were a little surprised by that.”

Opioid overdoses killed an average of two Arizonans every day last year. Earlier this month, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered medical officials to report opioid overdoses and deaths to the state within 24 hours of an incident.

The data will help experts decide how to fight the epidemic with limited resources, Christ said.

“We don’t know right now if it’s illicit drugs or if it’s prescription drugs,” Christ said. “We do know where it’s being administered. But now we need to start diving deeper into the data to identify where, who and when we need to intervene.”

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