This last session, the Legislature passed HB 2493, which establishes a new drug overdose mortality review process within the Arizona Department of Health Services. The new program will result in much more robust information on the circumstances surrounding all drug overdose deaths, identify preventable factors, and inform actions and policies to reduce future overdose deaths.
The legislation directs the department to set up a drug overdose review team. The team will develop a data collection system regarding drug overdoses, conduct an annual analysis relating to drug overdose fatalities, develop standards and protocols, provide training and technical assistance to local overdose review teams, and develop investigation protocols for law enforcement and the medical community. The team will also study state and local laws, training and services, recommend policies to decrease drug overdose fatalities, and educate the public regarding drug overdose fatalities.
While several organizations are named as members of the new State Drug Overdose Fatality Review Team, we are accepting applications for the following volunteer positions on the team:
- Medical Examiner – Forensic Pathologist
- Medical Examiner – Metropolitan Forensic Pathologist
- Tribal Government Representative
- Public Member
- Health Care Professional Who Specializes in the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
- County Sheriff or Sheriff’s Designee Who Represents a County with a Population of Less than Five Hundred Thousand Persons
- County Sheriff or Sheriff’s Designee Who Represents a County with a Population of More than Five Hundred Thousand Persons
Membership on the state team carries with it an obligation to participate actively in committee work through contribution of information, prompt reply for comments on draft reports, and attendance at committee meetings. If you’d like to apply for one of the available slots, please email [email protected].