A recent report on opioid deaths in AZ and concerns around fentanyl

More from this show

The Arizona Public Health Association released a comprehensive report this week about opioid deaths in Arizona. The biggest concern is fentanyl, even a tiny amount can kill someone. Christine Marsh, a representative, spoke this week about losing her son recently to fentanyl and the need to legalize fentanyl testing strips. There is a bill making its way through Legislature. We talked with Will Humble, the Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association.

The opioid crisis in Arizona has continued and the death rate from opioids in Arizona has increased. The three-year anniversary of the Arizona opioid epidemic act last month. They put together a report to figure out if it worked and what impact it has had. They also looked at where they were successful and what are the shortcomings. They found that since 2018 January, there has been a slight moderation in the increase of deaths from prescribed opioids. Humble said they have Cena continuing to skyrocket in deaths from fentanyl to synthetic opioids. He said the deaths are really coming from street fentanyl and it is off the charts. He also said he’s about four deaths a day!

One of the things that have happened is people have transitioned from the prescribed opioids to the street fentanyl because they still have those cravings, Humble said. He said they want people to get treatment so they can transition safely off the opioids. The street fentanyl is not a good way to go because it is super powerful and 50 times more potent than heroin, which leaves little room for error, Humble said. W talk about the bills in the legislator right now and if they are good for this crisis.

One bill they have been trying to get past in the legislature for five years. He said many states and countries have used the approach to help deal with the opioid crisis. We talk more about what this bill would do. We also talk about the bill around fentanyl testing strips. It passed out of the Senate unanimously. It will be going to the house now. The sponsor of this bill lost a son to the fentanyl opioid.

Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024
airs April 16

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates as part of ‘AZ Votes 2024’

The Capital building with text reading: Circle on Circle: Robert Lowell's D.C.
May 2

An evening with ‘Poetry in America’

Graphic for the AZPBS kids LEARN! Writing Contest with a child sitting in a chair writing on a table and text reading: The Ultimate Field Trip
May 12

Submit your entry for the 2024 Writing Contest

Poetry in America image with photos of four poets and the name of the show
airs April 18

Mushrooms, Weakness and Doubt 

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: