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There were more than 107,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. last year, up more than 50% since 2019.

In dealing with the opioid crisis, the Biden administration is quietly embracing “harm reduction” — a controversial approach that could save thousands of lives but create a political firestorm because it appears to be giving up and accepting illegal drug use as normal. Read more»

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized 130,000 tablets in Nogales Tuesday hidden in a crockpot.

Nogales-area U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered 130,000 fentanyl tablets hidden in a crock-pot on Tuesday, officials said. Read more»

Customs and Border Protection officers after the January 2019 seizure of 650 pounds of fentanyl and methamphetamines in Nogales. Experts say an increase in the availability of such deadly drugs, combined with the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, led to historic levels of drug overdoses in the U.S. last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic and a growing unsafe drug supply combined to push overdose deaths up by 27.6% in the U.S. over a 12-month period from 2020 to 2021, a surge in deaths that was matched in Arizona. Read more»

A dip in life expectancy in recent years, in both Arizona and the U.S., has been attributed to higher mortality among younger groups of people, driven by rising numbers of suicides and alcohol- and drug-related deaths.

After decades of steady increases, life expectancy in the U.S. ticked down slightly over three recent years, a drop attributed to a rise in “cause-specific” deaths like suicides and drug overdoses among those aged 25 to 64. Read more»

OxyContin’s makers delayed the reckoning for their role in the opioid crisis by funding think tanks, placing friendly experts on leading outlets, and deterring or challenging negative coverage. Read more»

Colorado is on the front lines in dealing with how marijuana use affects surgery. Lessons learned on operating tables and in recovery rooms have prompted calls for more research on marijuana nationwide. Read more»

The Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance reported 'alarming' increases in suicides, overdoses and alcohol-related deaths, and although rates in Arizona were not rising as quickly as the rest of the country in most cases, the rates still were higher in all three categories.

Deaths from drug overdoses, alcohol and suicide have grown more slowly in Arizona than in the nation as whole since 2005, but death rates in the state still exceed the nation in every category, according to a recent national survey. Read more»

Arizona has recorded more than 3,300 opioid-related deaths in the past two years, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, part of a national crisis of deaths in recent decades related to prescription painkillers.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday to stop the Sackler family from “looting” Purdue Pharma of billions of dollars being sought by victims of the opioid crisis the company is accused of helping create. Read more»

One pound of fentanyl can make up to 500,000 pills, which often mimic prescription opioid pills.

It turns out that the same lethal drug that has been driving the nation’s spiraling opioid epidemic, fentanyl, is also causing an historic surge in overdose deaths among cocaine users. Read more»

One pound of fentanyl can make up to 500,000 pills, which often mimic prescription opioid pills.

As governors in the hardest-hit states call for intensified law enforcement efforts and stiffer penalties for fentanyl dealers, public health officials say this latest drug scourge underscores the urgent need to get more people into treatment, particularly those who use heroin. Read more»

Dr. Dan Quan, a toxicology expert at the Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix, said fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than heroin.

Arizona on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Chandler-based opioid firm alleging that they participated in fraudulent practices that led to overprescription of a powerful opioid drug. Read more»

TimerCaps displaying the time since they were last opened.

A digital-timer on a pill bottle may help those who are fighting prescription drug addiction, the chief executive of the company that created the tool says. Read more»

A stroller containing five pounds of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, seized by Nogales-area CBP officers on Monday.

Nogales-area CBP officers arrested a woman on Monday for attempting to smuggle nearly five pounds of Fentanyl across the border hidden beneath the seat of a baby stroller, authorities said. Read more»

Misty Jones and Tony Rutherford stand on the deck of a recovery center they help run on the Muckleshoot reservation in Auburn, Washington. Native Americans are at least twice as likely as the general population to become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

The overdose death rate among Native Americans is three times the rate in the general population. As the opioid epidemic surges, many tribes are investing in treatment and specialized housing on the reservation. Read more»

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey kicked off Red Ribbon Week during a speech on the state Capitol lawn. He announced a new executive order, which places a seven-day limit on the first fill of prescription drugs for state employees and those in the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Monday signed an executive order that will prohibit millions of Arizonans from filling initial prescriptions for more than seven days’ worth of opioids. Read more»

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