Arizona Officials Tout Opioid Progress

By Matthew Kling
Published: Monday, August 13, 2018 - 2:14pm
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2018 - 2:37pm
Adapt Pharma Limited

Arizona officials are touting progress in fighting the opioid crisis. Gov. Doug Ducey said on Monday that between June 2017 and June 2018, the number of opioid prescriptions filled in Arizona declined 40 percent and the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed fell 43 percent.

Despite the positive numbers, there have been no reported decrease in opioid overdoses and deaths. But the state is touting the increased availability of naloxone, or Narcan, in helping to save lives of those who have overdosed.

Tony Morales, a detective for the Department of Public Safety, was the first officer from his agency to use the drug just this past week when he administered it to an unconscious man near Pirtleville.

"When I got on scene, I didn't think this subject was alive,'' Morales said. "He was blue, he was purple, he was unresponsive to anything we were doing to him.''

But after administering two doses of the drug to the patient, Morales said the subject was wide awake, thanking him for using Narcan.

"To see him in the back of the ambulance looking at us and talking, it was amazing," Morales said. "I thought I was looking at a ghost. It was truly amazing what Narcan did on this day."

The state’s health department has distributed over 6,300 Narcan kits to 63 law enforcement agencies, with more than a thousand officers trained to administer the drug.

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