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Public Health State of Emergency - Opioid Overdose Epidemic

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Arizona Health Alert Network

Governor Ducey has declared a state of emergency in response to the opioid abuse epidemic in Arizona.  More than two Arizonans die every day due to opioid overdose. As part of the Governor’s emergency declaration, ADHS will be providing recommendations on elements for required enhanced surveillance of opioid overdoses and deaths, and naloxone administration dispensing and reporting.

There must be a reduction in dangerous opioid use in Arizona.  Clinicians are urged to apply the practices in the Arizona Opioid Prescribing Guidelines (Acute/Chronic Pain) or the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids (Chronic Pain).

  • Consider non-opioid pain treatment alternatives first; opioids are not the first-line therapy for most chronic pain.    
  • If initiating opioids, use the lowest effective dosage and limit initial prescriptions to 7 days (per AHCCCS Policy) or 3 days (per CDC Guidelines).
  • Check the Arizona Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program prior to prescribing opioids.  
  • Take a detailed medication history. Avoid combined use of opioids and benzodiazepines, and advise patients of the risk of adverse events.
  • Co-prescribe naloxone to patients at higher risk for overdose, including history of overdose or substance use, opioid dosages ≥50 MME/day (calculate) or concurrent benzodiazepine use. 

To help Arizona meet the demand for opioid treatment, clinicians can also consider becoming a buprenorphine –waived provider.  An eight-hour buprenorphine training course is required.


Arizona's Declaration of Emergency

Arizona Clinical Guidelines and References

Online Arizona CME: Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing while Managing Acute and Chronic Pain

CDC Opioid Guide Mobile App


Thank you,
Arizona Health Alert Network

Tags:  ADHS 

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