Scottsdale, Arizona is located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert at the foot of the scenic McDowell Mountains. It’s more than 250,000 residents and its 6 million yearly visitors enjoy a rich and diverse city. From desert horseback rides to cultural activities in the city, there is something for everyone. However, there is a somber side to this thriving city and its sister cities and towns that make up Maricopa County. The opioid epidemic in Scottsdale, as well as the whole of Arizona, has taken a tremendous toll on the community. Fortunately, Scottsdale is full of drug rehabs for individuals searching for help.
The Opioid Epidemic in Scottsdale and Arizona
Unfortunately, no town or city — large or small — is immune from the deadly opioid epidemic. In the 12 months ending January 2021, 94,134 people died of a drug overdose in the US, an increase of more than 30 percent from the previous 12 months — a record for the most such deaths in a single year! From October 2018 to September 2019, there were 1,389 drug-related overdose deaths in Maricopa County alone.
Contributing Factors to the Opioid Epidemic in Scottsdale
Increasingly, counterfeit prescription pills resembling oxycodone, Xanax and other medications — as well as illicit drugs, such as cocaine and heroin — are laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 percent more potent than heroin. Even two milligrams — the size of two grains of salt — can be fatal.
In Arizona, there were 2,670 overdose deaths in the year ending January 2021 compared to 2,025 overdose deaths in the previous 12 months – a 32 percent spike. This means, on average, seven people in Arizona died every day from an overdose. Most of those deaths were due to synthetic opioids.
The Fentanyl Epidemic
Fentanyl is often prescribed to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. Sometimes it is used to treat patients with chronic pain who don’t respond to other medications. While fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are used in legitimate prescription drugs, they are also used in the counterfeit prescription drugs and distributed alongside—or mixed with—illegal drugs like heroin.
In just a few short years, fentanyl has become the predominant factor in the opioid epidemic in Scottsdale. Drug cartels are using fentanyl more frequently to cut into other drugs because it is relatively easy and cheap to manufacture. Because of its high potency, more and more people are falling victim to fentanyl overdose. In fact, fentanyl has played a key role in reducing the overall life expectancy for Americans.
In Maricopa County overdose deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids reached 420 in 2018. 18 percent of all fatal and non-fatal reported overdoses in Arizona are a result of Fentanyl. If current trends continue, the annual death toll from the fentanyl-related opioid epidemic in Scottsdale will soon approach those from guns and traffic accidents.
The Fight Against the Opioid Epidemic in Scottsdale and all of Arizona
With the opioid epidemic in Scottsdale and the rest of the state leading to a surge in opioid deaths in Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey issued the first public health emergency declaration on June 5, 2017, calling for statewide efforts to reduce opioid deaths. The emergency declaration resulted in swift, and substantial action.
Arizona Opioid Mandates
- New mandated reporting of suspected opioid overdoses, deaths, neonatal abstinence syndrome, naloxone (a drug given to reverse an overdose) dispensed by pharmacists, and naloxone administered by first responders and others
- New rules in licensed healthcare facilities for opioid prescribing and treatment
- Updated Arizona Opioid Prescribing Guidelines
- Training of law enforcement agencies on administering naloxone and distribution of free naloxone to these agencies
- Recommendations to the Governor in the first Opioid Action Plan and Opioid Overdose Epidemic Response Report, and passage of the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act on January 26, 2018.
The Opioid Action Plan, along with additional resources provided through the Opioid Epidemic Act and federal grants, resulted in some major steps forward.
Opioid Action Plan Criteria for Arizona
- Expansion of treatment for people suffering from opioid use disorder, including 24/7 opioid treatment centers
- New 24/7 Opioid Assistance and Referral Line for consultations for healthcare providers and information for the public
- New Pain and Addiction Curriculum developed with input and consensus of 17 health-profession schools in Arizona
In an ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic in Scottsdale and the rest of Arizona, Governor Ducey also signed the Arizona Opioid E-Prescribing Requirement which amended the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act and required all Arizona providers to electronically prescribe any Schedule II controlled substance that is an opioid starting January 1, 2020.
Drug Rehab in Scottsdale
Continuum Recovery Center is an outpatient treatment center and drug rehab near Scottsdale. Specializing in holistic, individualized, and compassionate healing from drug and alcohol dependency. We firmly believe that recovery is always possible. Our recovery programs integrate practices from across the spectrum of medical, psychological, spiritual, and wellness communities. We use various evidence-based approaches, enabling you to enjoy a life of freedom, impact, and meaning.
Our programs include:
- Day Treatment (5 days a week)
- Intensive Outpatient (3 or 5 days a week / 3 evenings a week)
- Outpatient (Individualized therapy as needed)
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (to help reduce cravings and aid withdrawal)
If you or someone you love in the Scottsdale area needs treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, Continuum Recovery Center can help. Our Scottsdale drug rehab accept most private and commercial insurance and some AHCCCs. Call us when you’re ready to start your recovery journey at 855.869.7132.