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‘Afflicted not addicted’: Chronic pain sufferers rally for access to opioids

Debra Hickey, who has lived with chronic pain for two decades, recently went to her medical specialist for her regular dose of 30 milligrams of oxycodone. The doctor told her she had to reduce the dosage because of state regulations to decrease the number and dosage in patients’ opioid prescriptions. Hickey, 63, of Phoenix, was appalled. And scared.... Read more»

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Syphilis on rise across Arizona, particularly among women and infants

State health officials have declared a statewide outbreak of syphilis after a spike in reported cases, mainly affecting women and infants. They’re trying to get out the word on this sexually transmitted bacterial disease, whose symptoms can easily be overlooked.... Read more»

Arizona flu season off to a fast start; health officials push shots

Three weeks into this flu season, Arizona has already had 96 confirmed cases of flu, slightly above last year’s numbers but close to three times the number of confirmed cases at this point in a typical year.... Read more»

Worker charged with sexually molesting 8 children at Mesa immigrant shelter

The allegations against a Phoenix Southwest Key youth care worker are the latest in a series of serious accusations of sexual abuse inside the government’s immigrant youth shelters.... Read more»

Farley, officials call for closure of Phoenix child detention facility

Following an investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting, officials in Arizona are calling for the closure of a Phoenix office building used by a government contractor to hold immigrant children.... Read more»

Reports of STDs up 19% in Arizona

Sexually transmitted diseases reported in Arizona from January through April have increased 19 percent over the same period last year, possibly because of increased awareness and improved treatment, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.... Read more»

Az public schools still working to get lead out of drinking water

Since state officials identified dozens of Arizona public schools with elevated levels of lead contamination in water fixtures, nearly half the schools still are undergoing repairs or tests for levels that could affect students, faculty and staff members.... Read more»

Arizona officials want tougher controls on opioid prescriptions

Arizona officials on Wednesday said they want to limit doctors to prescribing no more than five days’ worth of opioids for people who haven’t already been on the powerful pain medication.... Read more»

Gov. Ducey declares emergency over sewer line break in Nogales

Arizona Gov. Ducey declared a state of emergency, calling for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide assistance to staunch a breach in a pipeline that carries sewage from Sonora, Mexico, to a wastewater treatment plant north of Nogales, Arizona.... Read more»

Doctors teeter on divide between pain treatment, opioid abuse

A new 400-page report by leading doctors across the country called on the FDA to develop new regulations for opioid prescriptions, balancing the need to treat pain properly and avoid opioid abuse.... Read more»

Ducey requires opioid overdose reports within 24 hours

Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order Tuesday requiring reports of opioid overdoses and deaths reach state health officials within 24 hours.... Read more»

Ducey declares opioid emergency in Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday declared a public health emergency spurred by a devastating jump in Arizona opioid deaths in 2016, calling for a coordinated effort by the medical community and state and local governments to find solutions to an epidemic.... Read more»

Az medical boards can take years to penalize doctors who overprescribe

It can take years for a physician to be penalized for over-prescribing opioids and it's rare for licenses to be revoked. Since 2010, more than 3,600 people have overdosed and died from opioids in Arizona. Over the past 16 years, the state has sanctioned 250 doctors and assistants for overprescribing prescription pain pills.... Read more»

$3.6M federal grant jump-starts opioid awareness in Pima, 5 other Az counties

State officials said federal funding has helped jump-start awareness campaigns and drug monitoring efforts to combat the prescription drug epidemic in six of Arizona’s 15 counties. In 2015, 401 people across the state died from overdoses of prescription opioid pain relievers.... Read more»

Experts: It’s not too late to vaccinate for possibly strong flu strain

Arizona is still about a month away from peak flu season, but medical experts are advising residents to get vaccinated “sooner rather than later” to head off an expected variant of the H1N1 virus.... Read more»

CDC cautions against nasal spray flu vaccination this season

Better get the Band-Aids out. This year, the CDC recommends against nasal spray flu vaccinations, saying it’s less effective than the shot. That means Arizona nurses and doctors will inject thousands of people the old-fashioned way, resulting in sore arms and lots of tears.... Read more»

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