Arizona currently ranks 12th highest in the nation for individuals 12+ years misusing and abusing prescription drugs.
3 out of 4 Arizona youth who have misused prescription drugs in the past 30 days report getting them from friends, family or right out of the home.
Hospitalization charges for non-fatal poisoning-related inpatient hospitalizations totaled more than $213 million in 2013 in Arizona.
The Arizona Rx Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative (Initiative) was conceived as a way to combat the growing epidemic of prescription (Rx) drug misuse and abuse in Arizona. The Initiative began after the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family and the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission hosted a Prescription Drug Expert Panel in February 2012. Experts from the medical, treatment, law enforcement, and community prevention sectors formulated a set of data-and-research-driven strategies to be implemented in an attempt to stem the growing tide of Rx drug misuse and abuse and the related negative consequences in Arizona. These strategies, adapted and evolved from those originally proposed by Office of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), are a multi-systemic approach to the Rx drug misuse and abuse epidemic in Arizona that provide a simultaneous top-down and bottom-up approach between state agencies and community-level efforts.
In order to monitor progress, identify emerging issues and to ensure effective interactive feedback between state and local efforts, two critical core groups were established that include pivotal state and local leaders. The statewide core group meets bi-monthly and consists of members from the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners in Medicine and Surgery, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, and Prevention Works AZ, LLC. The community core groups meets quarterly and consists of local community coalition leaders. Information exchange between groups is provided by a project coordinator that attends both the statewide and community core group meetings and helps align efforts at each level.
The Community toolkit is designed with the theme Awareness. Action. Outcomes! It provides the roadmap to move communities beyond that initial awareness stage into action and then to outcomes.
The toolkit is easy to use and is color-coded for better navigation. The toolkit’s eight sections include the action plan, the items needed to implement each of the five strategies, the data sources required for evaluating efforts, and other documents that don’t fall neatly into one of the afore-mentioned categories:
Strategy #1: Reduce illicit acquisition and diversion of prescription drugs
Strategy #2: Promote responsible prescribing and dispensing policies and practices
Strategy #3: Enhance Rx drug practice and policies in law enforcement
Strategy #4: Increase public awareness and patient education about Rx drug misuse and abuse
Strategy #5: Enhance assessment and referral to substance abuse treatment
Action Plan: The Action Plan is color coded by strategy and provides easy to follow goals, objectives and action items.
Efficacy Report and Evaluation: This section provides data and data sources used throughout the initiative and in the toolkit. In addition, a full report of initiative outcomes in the pilot counties is included. The report provides background and history of the Arizona Rx Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative.
Other Documents: Items in this toolkit will continue to be updated and new items will be added. Use this section of your toolkit to print and add information to support your efforts.
For word versions and Spanish language material please visit the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) website.