phoenix are overdose rates

Most people are likely not devoting much of their limited time, energy, and attention to thinking about the topic of drug overdose. Instead, their worries may be focused on less intense and life-threatening topics, such as the completion of to-do lists, what to eat for their next meal, or what show or movie to binge-watch next.

However, for those with a loved one that has overdosed or is likely to overdose in the near future, the topic of drug overdose is top of mind and ever-present. It is an invisible, heavy weight and constant worry that is carried around. Overdose is a topic that loved ones deeply wish they did not have to be up to date on or worry about on a daily, hourly, and often minute-by-minute basis.

For the loved one of a person misusing, overdose is a topic worthy of exploration. Much time is spent worrying about their loved one as their pattern of misuse could become life-threatening. The scary, tragic possibilities seem endless in the mind of a concerned loved one. Often, how to intervene and break through to our loved one struggling with drug or alcohol misuse seems unclear and at times hopeless.

If you are a reader of this topic, perhaps you are interested in the subject of drug overdose. Perhaps you want to learn more about how often drug and alcohol overdose occurs in the Phoenix, Arizona, area. Maybe you or your loved one is currently struggling with addiction and could be at risk of overdosing.

Getting knowledge on the topic of overdose is a great first step. The next step would be to consider addiction treatment options for you or your loved one that is struggling.

Pinnacle Peak Recovery is a treatment provider in Arizona that offers a host of addiction treatment options. Read on to learn more about the topic of drug overdose, data about drug overdose in Arizona and specifically in the Phoenix area, and the many addiction treatment options available at Pinnacle Peak Recovery in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Defining Overdose

If someone is showing signs of an overdose, call 911 immediately.

Overdose can be defined as when you take more than the normal or recommended amount of a drug. The overdose may result in harmful symptoms or even death.

Defining Opioids

Opioids are among the deadliest drugs and are a leading cause of overdose deaths. Opioids are often called narcotics and include prescription painkillers or drugs obtained in other ways (i.e., “street drugs”). Examples of opioids include, but are not limited to: oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, tramadol, and heroin.

When prescription opioids are taken as prescribed, they are generally considered to be safe. It is notable that anyone taking opioids is at risk for opioid dependence or addiction and overdose. The risk of becoming dependent on opioids increases when opioids are misused.

Signs of an Opioid-Involved Overdose

Signs of an opioid-involved overdose may include the following:

  • The person’s face is extremely pale and/or feels clammy to the touch
  • Their body goes limp
  • Their fingernails or lips have a purple or blue color
  • They start vomiting or making gurgling noises
  • They cannot be awakened or are unable to speak
  • Their breathing or heartbeat slows or stops

Opioid-Involved Deaths in Arizona

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in Arizona, 1,106 opioid-involved deaths were reported in 2018 (a rate of 15.9 per 100,000 standard population). Deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (mostly fentanyl) increased almost twofold to 522 deaths in 2018 (a rate of 7.7).

In 2018, Arizona providers wrote 50.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons compared with the average U.S. rate of 51.4 prescriptions.

Alcohol-Involved Deaths in Arizona

Arizona has a high number of alcohol-related deaths compared with the state population. The rate of chronic causes is also well above average. Additional data related to alcohol-involved deaths:

  • 2,629 annual deaths are linked to excessive alcohol use.
  • 70.2% of the deaths are male.
  • 57.1% of deaths are due to chronic causes, such as alcohol use disorder (AUD).
  • 83.5% of deaths are among people 35 years old or older.
  • 3.0% are under 21.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 76,039 years of total potential life lost to alcohol misuse in Arizona each year.

Arizona averages one alcohol-related death for every 2,146 adults over 18 or 4.7 deaths for every 10,000 Arizonan adults.

Overall Overdose Rates in the Phoenix, Arizona, Area

Phoenix, Arizona, is located in Maricopa County. Maricopa County Public Health released a Maricopa County Overdose Deaths 2020 Monthly Report. Highlights from this report include:

  • From October 2018 to September 2019, there were 1,389 drug-related overdose deaths in Maricopa County. The majority of these overdose deaths involved opioids, methamphetamines, or alcohol.
  • In 2019, 91% of overdose deaths involved more than one drug, and 92% of overdose deaths were determined to be accidental.
  • Opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) killed 939 people from October 2018 to September 2019. About 75% of all opioid overdose deaths involved prescription opioids (including fentanyl).
  • In 2019, 66% of all drug overdose deaths involved at least one opioid. And among the opioid-involved overdose deaths, 61% had only one opioid in their system.
  • Overall, 35- to 44-year-olds had more drug overdose deaths than other age groups throughout the lifespan.
  • In 2019, drug overdose deaths were mostly males (73% male, 27% female).
  • Drug overdose deaths were much higher (62%) in the non-Hispanic white population than in other race/ethnic groups.

Overall Overdose Rates in Arizona

In 2019, Arizona had 1,907 drug overdose deaths per year, and 3.22% of all deaths in Arizona were related to drug overdose. In Arizona, overdose deaths increased at a yearly rate of 9.74% from 2016-2019.

In 2019, the death rate from overdose was 26.8 deaths out of every 100,000 residents. That was 29.47% above the national average death rate, and 2.71% of nationwide overdose deaths occurred in Arizona.

Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S.

More than four times as many people died from drug overdose than from homicide in January 2021. In January 2021, drug overdose deaths exceeded homicides by 306.7%.

From March 2020 to March 2021, 96,779 drug overdose deaths were reported. Opioids kill more than three times as many people as cocaine. Overdose deaths rank just below diabetes in terms of highest death count.

On a positive note, from 2018 to 2019, drug overdose rates fell by 4.6% for the first time since 2012.

Addiction Treatment at Pinnacle Peak Recovery

Pinnacle Peak Recovery offers a comprehensive addiction treatment program that will meet your individual needs from the beginning to the end of treatment. For those having withdrawal symptoms and requiring medical care, we have a detox center ready to prioritize your health and comfort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Next, Pinnacle Peak Recovery offers inpatient rehab for Adderall, alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and meth. 

There is also outpatient programming to continue your care. Pinnacle Peak Recovery uses many different treatment approaches to meet your needs, including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), dual diagnosis treatment for both addiction and mental health needs, equine therapy, experiential therapy, fitness therapy, holistic therapy, individual therapy, meditation, therapeutic recreation, and yoga therapy.

Contact Pinnacle Peak Recovery

Reviewing the overdose data for Arizona and specifically for the Phoenix, Arizona, area may have been both informative and concerning to you. You may have had yourself or a loved one in mind that is at risk of overdosing or has overdosed before and could likely overdose again in the future.

The time to take action is now to prevent a future overdose and begin to live a healthier lifestyle. Begin your journey toward recovery today by reaching out to Pinnacle Peak Recovery for opioid addiction treatment at (866) 377-4761.



Does Phoenix have a lot of drugs?

According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale (MSA) area, in 2005-2010, a yearly average of 558,000 people 12 or older had used an illicit drug in the past year. This represents 16% of the MSA population and is similar to the rates in Arizona (16.9%) and in the United States as a whole.

What city has the highest drug rate?

Phoenix, Arizona, is a city in Maricopa County. Based on data from 2017 to 2019, Maricopa County had the highest number of drug overdoses (3,271) among all Arizona counties.

Is Arizona a drug state?

According to a 2021 study, Arizona was ranked 20th in highest drug use among all U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

How many overdoses occur daily?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States, 136 people die every day from an opioid-related overdose.

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