Ducey Executive Order Increases Monitoring Of Opioid Overdoses

By Will Stone
Published: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 2:11pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 3:01pm

Medical providers in Arizona will soon have to report more information about opioid overdoses.

On Tuesday, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order directing state health officials to ramp up data collection in an effort to curb deaths.

Nearly 800 people died in Arizona from overdoses in 2016. But the state was still updating those numbers a year later. That will soon change because of Ducey’s executive order, which comes shortly after he declared the opioid crisis a public-health emergency.

Now health-care providers, law enforcement, emergency services and others will have 24 hours to report overdoses and suspected opioid overdose deaths. The state will also track when the overdose reversal drug naloxone is dispensed and administered.

Director of the Department of Health Services Dr. Cara Christ said they’re trying to reframe the approach to the opioid epidemic and treat it as any other public-health crisis.

"We need to be able to respond and we need to be able to plan interventions and implement them based on real-time data,” Christ said.

The order authorizes Christ’s agency to track specific patients that could be at risk. State agencies will also be able to share more data about opioid use than ever before.

Ducey has set a goal of reducing opioid-related deaths by 25 percent in the next two years and 50 percent over the next five years.

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