Office of the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family
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Rx epidemic.

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Wellness & Recovery

"As the number of opioid overdoses and deaths increase at an alarming rate, we must take action...Most  of us know someone impacted by substance abuse - our family, our friends, our neighbors... We must do more."

- Gov. Doug Ducey, Declaring a State of Emergency for Arizona's Opioid Epidemic, June 5, 2017

Rethink Rx Abuse

Arizona loses someone every day to the abuse of prescription painkillers or illegal opioids like heroin, and teens are particularly vulnerable. However, there are concrete steps you can take to protect your friends, children and loved ones from the opioid epidemic. 

Download the Parent Talk Kit (English)

Download the Parent Talk Kit (Spanish)

Placement of opioid PSAs are sponsored in part by


The Arizona Rx Misuse and Abuse 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.

The Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family offers free training for coalitions, non-profits and other community stakeholders on how to implement the Toolkit. If you are interested in learning more about training opportunities, please click here


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

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Know the Problem
  1. Arizona is being over-prescribed
    Enough Rx pain relievers were dispensed in 2014 to medicate every adult in Arizona around-the-clock for 17-20 days. 
  2. Teens have easy access
    Kids easily obtain meds from friends, family and the medicine cabinet. To be proactive, take an inventory of your medicine cabinet, properly secure all active prescrpitions, and dispose of unused or unwanted medications. 
  3. Major or stressful transitions can facilitate Rx abuse. 
    Elementary school through college years are key, high-risk times for youth to use illicit substances. Know your child's stresses and help them identify healthy coping strategies. For more on this, visit
  4. Opioid misuse is killing people in our state. 
    On average, more than two Arizonanas die every day from an overdose due to prescription pain relievers. This is a 16.3% increase from opioid deathes in 2015. 
  5. Misuse is leading to addiction
    The strongest risk factor for heroin addiction is addiction to prescription opioid pain relievers.
  6. Communication and conversation is crucial 
    Talking with kids about their stresses and the dangers of Rx abuse should be a priority for all parents. Studies have shown that teens who simply have 5 family dinners each week with their parents are more likely to view drug and alcohol usage as dangerous than teens that have 2 family dinners or less each week. Learn more HERE about how to start a conversation with your teen about avoiding substance abuse. 

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What's In Your Medicine Cabinet?

Opioids are common and can be found in many medicine cabinets around Arizona. It is important to know what opioids are and to dispose of any extra at a free and anonymous Rx Drop-Off box near you. 

Unwanted opioids can also be disposed in the trash when mixed with 'undesirables',  such as cat litter or food waste. 

To locate a permanent Rx drop box near you, visit:


The majority of overdoses occur in personal residences. So, it is Important for loved ones who know someone who currently using long term opioid pain medication or have loved ones struggling with opioid heroin addiction to know about and consider having naloxone on hand. Naloxone is designed to reverse an opioid overdose the moment symptoms begin and restore breathing instantly. Over 4,500 naloxone kits have been distributed in Arizona. Naloxone is available in Arizona without a prescription.

For more information go to Arizona Department of Health Services.

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Prescription Drug Initiative

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.