Wakeup Northern Arizona
In 2017, there were over 600 drug overdose deaths in Northern Arizona alone. Learn more about the state's opioid epidemic.
Preventing Prescription Drug, Opioid and Synthetic Opioid Misuse
Check out the 'Rural Community Toolbox' for federal resources to address the opioid crisis and substance misuse in rural communities. Learn more.
This report, “Tribal Opioid Overdose Prevention Responses: Community-Based Strategies and Public Health Data Infrastructure," provides a snapshot of how various tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations are addressing the opioid epidemic in Indian Country. Read it here.
Most people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family, friends, and acquaintances. You can make a difference by following these tips. Learn more.
Heroin, Synthetic Opioids, and Prescription Drugs
Unfortunately, prescription drug abuse can often lead to illegal drug use. Nationwide, among new heroin users, 75 percent report having abused prescription opioids before using heroin.1 In 2016, there were 431 million opioid pills prescribed in Arizona.2
Arizona's Opioid Problem
Like many areas of the country, the opioid epidemic in Arizona has gotten worse in recent years. According to the state's department of health services, heroin deaths have tripled since 2012.
For decades, the number of fatal opioid overdoses nationwide had been steadily increasing, according to numbers from the National Vital Statistics System. But in 2018, the number of overall opioid deaths dropped to 46,802.
- Between June 2017 and June 2019 there were over 20,000 suspected opioid overdoses. 
- 50% of opioid overoses between June 2017 and June 2019 involved 15-34 year olds. 
- The vast majority of teens do not use heroin. In a 2017 national survey, only 0.4% of 12th graders used heroin in the past year.
- 96.4% of 12th graders disapprove of taking heroin occasionally.
- In 2016, over 600,000 people (12 or older) reported having a heroin use disorder.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE:
- Prescription opioid analgesics, specifically those containing oxycodone and hydrocodone, are the most common types of prescription drugs that are diverted for misuse and abused.
- Each day in the United States, over 192 people die as a result of a drug overdose.
- In 2016, an estimated 3.2 million people (aged 12 or older) reported past month misuse of opioid pain relievers.
- 53% of nonmedical users (12 years or older) reported receiving the prescription drugs they most recently used “from a friend or relative for free.”
- Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.
- The death rate of synthetic opioids other than methadone, jumped by 72.2% from 2014 to 2015.
- During 2016 alone there were almost 29,000 reports of fentanyl (up from 1,041 reports in 2013).
Explore common misconceptions about opioids through the voices of teens. Go to Operation Prevention.
1 Source: "Opioid Epidemic," Arizona Department of Health Services. View source here.
2 Source: University of Michigan, 2018 Monitoring the Future Study. View source here.
3 Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2018. View source here.
4 Source: Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2013–2017. View source here.
5 Source: Prescription Drug Use and Misuse in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2016. View source here.
6 Source: Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 December 2016. View source here.
7 Source: “Fentanyl: The Next Wave of the Opioid Crisis.” Statement from Louis J. Milione Assistant Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration. March 21, 2017.
JOHN PAUL HERRERA
John Herrera started experimenting with marijuana at just 11 years old. Then, at age 16, the New Mexico native tried heroin for the first time. Read more.
Need Someone to Talk to?
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has trained professionals to available via phone and online chat to help parents who think their loved one is struggling with addiction. Learn more.
Help for Veterans
Veterans Affairs offers a number of options for those seeking treatment for substance use problems. These options include therapy, either alone with the therapist or in a group, as well as medications to help veterans reduce their use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Learn more on their website.
Treatment Services in Northern Arizona
If you're looking for treatment specific to opioid addiction, check out this Opioid Treatment Program Directory by SAMHSA.
Otherwise, use SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Locator at the bottom of the page to find general drug treatment facilities in your area.
If you want to get involved in the DEA 360 Strategy you can start by educating yourself on the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, and then share what you have learned with your family, friends, community, neighbors, etc.
Join a coalition or volunteer with a partnering organization.
Properly dispose of prescription drugs.
If you have prescription drugs that have expired or you no longer need you can deposit them into prescription drop-off boxes located in your community.
Use the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy drug disposal locator tool to find a list that includes police stations.