Gov. Doug Ducey to continue addressing statewide opioid addiction in 2017

Dec 26, 2016, 6:02 AM
FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2015 file photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey participates in a panel discussion...

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2015 file photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey participates in a panel discussion during the Republican Governors Association annual conference in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens, File)

(AP Photo/Chase Stevens, File)

PHOENIX — Combating opioid addiction will continue to be a priority in 2017 for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

“These drugs, that if you are in chronic pain can provide incredible relief, have become abused and become part of the black market,” said Ducey.

The best information on addictions, he said, is often several years old due to the trailing nature of the statistics.

“If you talk to parents, every family has some story of addiction, whether it be with alcohol or with drugs,” Ducey said.

Arizona has taken several legislative strides to address the problem of prescription drug abuse in 2016, but Ducey said it does not stop there.

In October, Ducey signed an executive order that effectively capped initial prescriptions of opioids to a 7-day supply. As of January, families of opioid users can also purchase a life-saving overdose drug without a prescription.

“What we want to do is make certain we’re doing everything we can, especially when we’re using state dollars,” Ducey said. “So that we’re not putting people on these drugs or increasing the level of addiction.”

Ducey said more than 400 hundred Arizonans died of opioid overdose last year, a problem he says he wants to address directly – and sooner rather than later.

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Gov. Doug Ducey to continue addressing statewide opioid addiction in 2017