Overdose deaths from opioids are claiming scores of lives in Arizona, killing 400 residents since June 15, according to the latest data from state officials.
Officials from the Arizona Department of Health Services recently released the data on drug usage in the state, which reveals there were 3,200 opioid overdoses over the last four months. Factoring in deaths since June 15, Arizonians are dying from opioids at a rate of 100 per month, reports Fox News.
Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said that nearly 40 percent of overdose victims had been prescribed a prescription painkiller within the previous eight weeks. The data also revealed that 40 percent of overdose victims with a prescription in the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program were prescribed both opioids and benzodiazepines, which includes drugs like Xanax and Valium.
Opioids and benzodiazepines are a potentially deadly combination when taken together, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The latest stats come on the heels of President Donald Trump’s declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency. Trump issued the order Thursday, giving states hit hard by opioid addiction flexibility on how they direct federal resources to combat rising drug deaths.
“Drug demand and opioid misuse is the crisis next door,” Kellyanne Conway, a senior counselor to the president, told USA Today Thursday. “This is no longer someone else’s co-worker, someone else’s community, someone else’s kid. Drug use knows no geographic boundaries or demographic differences.”
Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse released Sept. 7 predicts that the addiction epidemic in America will continue to deteriorate, pushing drug deaths to an estimated 71,600 in 2017. If the estimates prove accurate, 2017 will be the second year in a row that drug deaths surpass U.S. casualties from the Vietnam War.
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