Arizona is losing someone every day to prescription painkillers – including teens. This trend affects every parent, grandparent and guardian in Arizona, regardless of race or social status.
Right now, communities are coming together and taking action to end this epidemic.
To make a real change, we need to rethink the way we use, store, discard and discuss prescription drugs.
- Arizona is being over prescribed
Enough Rx pain relievers were dispensed in 2013 to medicate every adult in Arizona around-the-clock for two weeks straight
- Teens have easy access
Kids easily obtain meds from friends, family and the medicine cabinet
- Arizona is leading to widespread misuse
More than one Arizonan dies every day from an overdose due to prescription opioid pain relievers
- Misuse is leading to addiction
The strongest risk factor for heroin addiction is addiction to prescription opioid pain relievers
Rx painkillers and heroin are both opioids
Painkiller addiction often starts by misusing or sharing a legitimate prescription following an injury, surgery or dental procedure
In Arizona, drug overdoses take more lives than car crashes
80% of heroin users started with prescription drugs
While heroin deaths are on the increase, Arizona has twice as many Rx opioid deaths
438 babies were born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in 2014 – a 235% increase since 2008
In 2014, Arizona had the 15th highest drug overdose death rate in the country
In America, painkillers are taking as many lives as we lost during the Vietnam War
From old prescriptions to over-the-counter pain relievers - this epidemic has teens and young adults searching medicine cabinets of family, friends and relatives, for painkillers and other prescriptions as a means to get high. To ensure your medication does not become your child's first high, take an inventory of all medication, secure them in safe location and dispose of unused or unwanted medication properly. Arizona has more than 120 permanent Rx drug drop boxes statewide available for anonymous public use. Permanent locations do not accept liquids, creams or sharps.
To locate a RX drop boxes near you, visit:
To address the growing concern over prescription drug misuse in Arizona and related consequences, the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership (ASAP) has endorsed the Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative and established a critical Core Group to monitor progress, identify emerging issues and to ensure effective feedback between state and local efforts.
The Rx Toolkit is designed with the theme Awareness. Action. Outcomes! It provides the roadmap to move communities forward beyond that initial awareness stage into action and outcomes. Communities and coalitions cannot wait another day here in Arizona to implement this initiative. Every day that we do, we lose more lives to death and addiction. The time has come to address this public health crisis and we need your commitment.
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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 practices 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
Online trainings are available for non-profit, coalitions and other community stakeholder on the implementation of the Rx Drug Misuse and Abuse Initiative.