PHOENIX — A state task force has recommended four steps officials should take to reduce instances of substance abuse in the state.
In a report released Tuesday, the Arizona Substance Abuse Task Force said prevention methods, better access to treatment, available medication-based treatment and better means of addressing neonatal abuse syndrome — problems related to an unborn child being exposed to opiates — are key.
Task Force co-chair Debbie Moak, who also heads the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, said during a press conference that early prevention is the biggest key.
“Investing in evidence-based prevention pays long-term dividends,” she said. “The Govenor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, next month, will be releasing new funding targeting high school, primary and secondary preventing programming.”
Dr. Sara Salek, chief medical officer at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, said it is important for addicts to remember access to treatment – whether counseling or medication-based – is vital.
“Substance-use disorder – including opioid addiction – is a chronic medical condition … not one of moral failure,” she said.
Another aspect of the recommendations is treating Arizona’s prison inmates. Chuck Ryan with the Arizona Department of Corrections said too many inmates do not receive the help they need before they leave prison.
“We have 42,222 people behind the wire,” he said. “Seventy-seven percent of them (32,510) have been assessed as needing substance-abuse treatment.
“As inmates are released into the community upon completion of their sentences, the lure of returning to drug use can often weigh heavy. Relapse leads to recidivism.”
Ryan said some programs are being tested this year, including counseling and the medication vivitrol for 100 qualified inmates. Another program provides counseling at inmate re-enty centers in Maricopa and Pima Counties.
The task force also recommended quicker treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome. This is a suite of issues that often affects babies exposed to opiates in utero. Symptoms include seizures, tremors, poor feeding and constant crying.
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul lashes out at Sen. John McCain over ‘dictator’ comment
- Grand Canyon Railway ranked among most beautiful train rides in America
- Rain, rain, go away: Arizona fire department uses drone to capture post-storm beauty
- Supreme Court weighs case of Mexican boy slain across border
- Arizona bill aimed at cutting required auto glass coverage appears dead