Fentanyl-related prosecutions continue at record numbers in metro Phoenix

May 9, 2023, 11:55 AM | Updated: 11:56 am

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photo)

PHOENIX — Fentanyl-related prosecutions continue to rise in Arizona’s most populous county, with 2023 pacing to be a record year.

Maricopa County has seen 2,432 cases related to the possession, sale, transport and manufacturing of the synthetic opioid submitted to the attorney’s office in the first four months of the year.

The total in the metro Phoenix county was 6,629 in 2022. The most recent figures are a steep jump from the first year of digital tracking in 2020, when 923 cases were submitted.

“I’ve spoken one-on-one with parents who have lost their kids to this poison,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a press release ahead of National Fentanyl Awareness Day on Tuesday.

“It is gut-wrenching to hear them talk about having a conversation with a child one evening, only to find that child gone the next morning.”

Opioid-related deaths are seeing a similar increase not only in Maricopa County, but across the state.

Arizona saw an increase in opioid deaths every year from 2017 to 2021 before a slight drop in 2022.

The state has confirmed 294 deaths in 2023 as of Thursday, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Maricopa County has a page with more information on fentanyl and opioid prevention.

Call the opioid assistance and referral line at 1-888-688-4222 to speak with local medical experts on information, resources and more.

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Fentanyl-related prosecutions continue at record numbers in metro Phoenix