Governor Doug Ducey has officially ended the formal emergency public health declaration he issued last year that directed our department to lead a statewide response to the opioid epidemic. We have made tremendous strides, but the work we started last June is far from complete.
The list of accomplishments over this last year is long and highlights the work we have done to develop proactive public health strategies to reduce opioid overdoses and deaths in Arizona. As of this month, all of the action items directed in the public health emergency declaration have been completed, including:
• The new opioid reporting procedures are now codified in policy and rule.
• Almost 1,000 law enforcement officers statewide have been trained to provide naloxone.
• Healthcare institutions, such as hospitals and outpatient treatment centers, now have rules for opioid prescribing and treatment.
• The Arizona Opioid Prescribing Guidelines have been updated and distributed.
• The comprehensive Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act went into effect on April 26th.
• In addition, all 12 recommendations of the Opioid Action Plan will be fully implemented by the end of June.
The work we have done has gained us national attention. Governor Ducey and I provided testimony at the House of Representatives Homeland Security Border And Maritime Security Subcommittee Field Hearing titled “An Unsecure Border And The Opioid Crisis: The Urgent Need For Action To Save Lives” on May 30. During the hearing, we highlighted the many ways Arizona is combating the opioid epidemic – including partnerships across the state like the Border Strike Force, which has proven successful in preventing opioids from traveling across the border.
While the emergency declaration officially comes to an end, the crisis continues and we must remain vigilant in our work as a state to prevent these tragic deaths. ADHS expresses our gratitude to partners and community members throughout the state who have worked diligently to help turn the tide on this epidemic. You can keep track of our progress on our website at azhealth.gov/opioids.