Arizona ranked among middle in US for drug overdose deaths

Mar 27, 2019, 6:15 PM

PHOENIX — Arizona ranked among the middle of the U.S. for the rate of drug overdose deaths in 2017, a new report found.

A report from the Bipartisan Policy Center found that the state had the 24th-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country.

The center chose Arizona as one of its five states to evaluate because of its high opioid-related deaths, Medicaid expansion, political and geographically diverse climates.

The majority of the $193 million in funding that Arizona received went to Maricopa and Pima counties.

Dr. Anand Parekh, the center’s chief medical advisor, said this is a good thing, as the majority of the deaths occurred in these areas.

‘The finding there is important for policymakers of all levels to focus on rural areas, given that in those areas, treatment and infrastructure capacities are limited,” Parekh said.

Parekh said there are three discoveries from the report that policymakers need to keep in mind: Sustainability, flexibility and better coordination at the federal level.

He also added that more emphasis is needed to bring in medication-assisted treatment. It is evidence-based and incorporates behavioral therapy and medication.

Rural areas, like Gila County, are receiving less funding per capita relative to their high opioid-related death rates.

Increasing that funding would ensure “vulnerable populations, tribal populations and others that are affected by opioid use disorder are being helped,” Parekh said.

But Parekh added that Arizona has made great strides in fighting the opioid epidemic.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Follow @suelenrivera...

SuElen Rivera

City of Goodyear unveils state-of-the-art Fire Station 188

The city of Goodyear held a grand opening ceremony on Thursday for the addition of its latest fire station.

52 minutes ago

(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...

Associated Press

Man already serving life sentence convicted of killing Tucson girl who vanished from parents’ home

A man already serving a life sentence was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the killing of another Tucson girl years earlier.

4 hours ago

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was...

Danny Shapiro

Suspect indicted on manslaughter charge in death of fellow IRS agent in Phoenix

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was indicted on a manslaughter charge, authorities announced Friday.

5 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

6 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: A closer look at the alleged cover-up of Preston Lord’s fatal beating

Arizona Republic investigative reporters Robert Anglen and Elena Santa Cruz join guest host Kristin Bentz to further explain the latest developments in the Preston Lord investigation. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

6 hours ago

A sign in front of a building identifies Valleywise Behavioral Health Center – Maryvale in Phoeni...

Kevin Stone

Valleywise Health replenishing mental health care capacity after staffing setback

Valleywise Health is working to replenish its mental health care capacity after cutting back because of staffing shortages in 2022.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Arizona ranked among middle in US for drug overdose deaths