Opioid overdoses occur every month, in every age group and every county across Arizona, with Maricopa County having the highest number of verified opioid overdoses. Even though the number of overdoses has been on a steady decrease since March, according to the AZ Department of Health Services (ADHS) Opioid Report, we must continue to talk to our families about the risks and dangers of opioids.
Similar to other drugs, prescription opioids and illegal opioids affect a person’s reward system, which creates a feeling of euphoria, making them highly addictive and deadly. Addiction is a family disease, meaning long-term use of these drugs can lead to dependency and disrupt a person’s life and that of those around them. Young people are especially susceptible: 90% of people who have an addiction started using before they were 18 years old. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office wants to ensure that everyone is proactive in their prevention efforts. Review and share the following prevention tips with family members and friends.
- Talk to your health care provider about pain management options that don’t involve opioids.
- Ask your health care provider to let you know when a prescription written for you contains opioids.
- Keep prescription opioids in a secure place, keep track of your use, and make a note of any missing medication.
- Please remind your children never to take a medicine that isn’t prescribed to them.
- Dispose of unused medication by taking it to an RX drop-off location.
- Carry naloxone to help prevent further overdoses.
Take steps today to protect your family. Having frequent conversations with your children about substance abuse can not only prepare them but also make it less likely that they will try these substances in the future. Make sure to expand your audience and talk to your friends, parents of your children’s friends, relatives, and caretakers about this issue as well. We can all play a role in the fight against opioids.
To learn more visit, MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/Opioids