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Texas sues the maker of OxyContin over opioid epidemic

The Texas Attorney General's Office says Purdue Pharma fueled "the nation's opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing prescription painkillers," including OxyContin... Read more»

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Tucson doctor indicted for unlawfully prescribing opioids

A Tucson doctor whose license was suspended last year has been indicted for allegedly prescribing painkillers despite being prohibited from doing so by the Arizona Medical Board. David Ruben of Healthcare Southwest has a lengthy disciplinary record for his handling of opioid prescriptions.... Read more»

Zinke, tribal leaders discuss solutions to Native American opioid epidemic

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met Monday with Arizona tribal leaders to discuss possible solutions for the national opioid crisis, which affects Native Americans more than any other minority.... Read more»

Governor signs sweeping law to confront Arizona opioid crisis

Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday signed into law a sweeping plan to confront the opioid crisis that provides $10 million for treatment, restricts timetables for opioid prescriptions and protects from drug prosecution Good Samaritans who call for emergency help if someone overdoses.... Read more»

Pregnant & addicted

Az’s opioid epidemic grew twice as fast among pregnant mothers & newborns

At the urging of Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona lawmakers approved sweeping new regulations of drugs designed to curb the state’s sprawling opioid epidemic, which has seen overdose deaths nearly double in the past decade. ... Read more»

Ducey calls special session on opioid crisis

Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday called a special legislative session to battle the opioid epidemic in Arizona, asking lawmakers to fund and expand health care.... Read more»

Report: Arizona's drug, alcohol, suicide death rates to climb by 2025

A new report says death rates in Arizona from drugs, alcohol and suicides could grow by 38 percent over the next decade unless action is taken now to head off the problem.... 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»

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»

Meth gathers alarming momentum

The opioid epidemic has killed tens of thousands over the last two years and driven major reforms in law enforcement and public health policies for people with addiction. But another deadly but popular drug, methamphetamine, also has been surging in many parts of the country. ... Read more»

40% of Arizona adults know someone addicted to painkillers

More than four in ten adults in Arizona know someone who who has been addicted to prescription painkillers, according to a new poll. “Opioid addiction knows no boundaries,” said Douglas Coleman of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “It affects every demographic. It affects rich, poor, black, white. It affects everybody.”... Read more»

Access to overdose drug Narcan slow, but growing

Arizona enacted a law last year allowing the purchase of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone without a prescription — but training for pharmacists, and the state Medicaid program’s inability to cover the cost without a prescription, have slowed access to the drug.... 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»

Experts: Doctor training key to fighting opioid epidemic

Although Arizona has developed a training program for doctors on prescribing opioids and treating chronic pain, the state does not mandate doctors take continuing education in pain management, controlled-substance prescribing or substance-abuse disorders – as several other states do.... Read more»

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