(Phoenix, Arizona) – Every day in Arizona, an average of five people die from opioid overdose, forcing five families to mourn the loss of a son or daughter, husband or wife, mother or father. Opioid and fentanyl addiction is plaguing communities across the nation. In Maricopa County, opioid deaths account for more than two-thirds of all drug related fatalities. International Overdose Awareness Day serves as a catalyst for all residents to be educated on how deadly opioids, like fentanyl, can be.
Just last week the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office seized 750,000 fentanyl-laced pills during a traffic stop in Gila Bend. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, two in five counterfeit pills seized and tested in the United States contain enough fentanyl to kill.
“Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Deaths from overdose can take the lives of those who have suffered for years from substance abuse disorder, as well as those who have taken just one pill. This highly lethal weapon is streaming into our community from our southern border in massive numbers. They are being put into the hands of our youth. Parents must be aware that these deadly drugs are sold every day to our youth on social media apps like Snapchat,” said County Attorney Rachel Mitchell.
The important message of International Overdose Awareness Day is two-fold: acknowledging the grief felt by families and friends who have lost a loved one to a drug-related overdose and letting our community know that drug overdose is preventable. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office provides information to parents and caregivers about the signs of substance abuse and its deadly consequences.
“I encourage all parents to sit down with their kids today and talk about the dangers of drugs,” continued County Attorney Mitchell. “It may be a difficult and scary conversation to have but it might also save their life.”
The Good Samaritan Law is also active in Arizona and is there to protect someone attempting to help a person experiencing an overdose. This protection is for someone who is nearby but who may also be using drugs along with the person experiencing the overdose. The law protects people who are using drugs when reporting an overdose. Narcan is a nasal spray to help reverse the effects of a drug overdose and in many cases, can be obtained for free. To learn more about Narcan, you can visit Save a Life.
To learn more about how to talk with kids about the dangers of drugs, visit https://www.maricopacountyattorney.org/396/Opioid-Epidemic