Phoenix As A Drug Hotspot
Arizona is one of four states that border Mexico. Naturally, this makes for a lot of traffic from Mexican cartels smuggling drugs into the country. National parks, like the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, are used as pathways to traffic drugs across the border and state. Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona by one million residents, has become a major hub, making illicit drugs easy to come by.
Opioids In Phoenix
As with every state across the country, Arizona is faced with an opioid crisis. Though this problem exists across the state, the vast majority happens within Maricopa County. This county, and Phoenix as its major city, has the highest reported drug abuse throughout the state of Arizona.
From 2018 to 2019 Maricopa County saw 1,389 deaths due to drug overdose. The most deadly of the drugs in the state are opioids, methamphetamine, and alcohol. Opioids alone accounted for a steady death-rate of 60-80 per month. Methamphetamine overdose deaths seem to erratically spike into the 100s per month only to fall back below opioids again.
In 2015, Arizona saw 27,363 Inpatient discharges and emergency room visits related to opioids, the most rampant drug problem in the state. Maricopa county was home to nearly two-thirds of them. Over half the state population of Arizona live in the Phoenix Metro Area, which helps account for the wild proportion of cases localized in Maricopa County.
Unlike other cities, where the clandestine production of synthetic opioids is sweeping the streets, the crux of the issue in this area is the ease of receiving a prescription. In 2016, four doctors across Maricopa County wrote over 6,000,000 prescriptions for opioids in 12 months. That is more prescriptions than the population of the county, including children. This easy access to prescription pain killers, one of the most commonly abused substances across the country, opens the door to more people abusing drugs they shouldn’t have in the first place and developing an addiction.
This flood of non-regulated drugs to the streets is not only creating addictions for those who take the drug willingly, but newborns as well. 455 children born across Arizona from June 2017 to January 2018 were diagnosed with opioid addiction passed on from the parents. Not only is this an issue that is even more difficult to treat in infants but has already affected their growth and brain development.
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Methamphetamines In Phoenix
While prescription opioids are rampant in Arizona, the DEA has stated that methamphetamines are the biggest danger to the state. Between inpatient discharges and ER visits, there were 24,111 documented cases of methamphetamine abuse across the state. Over two-thirds were within Maricopa County.
From 2015 to 2016, there was a reported 100% increase in the influx of methamphetamines across the border. 5,584 lbs. of methamphetamines were seized outside of Tucson alone, an estimated $20.6 million worth. With the chance to make this much of a profit, there is little any US-based law enforcement agency can do as preventative measures. Someone will always be willing to take that risk for that big of a payoff.
The only true defense is education and rehabilitation, for those who are already suffering from addiction.
Treatment In Phoenix
Within Maricopa County, there are a range of rehabilitation programs for inpatient and outpatient treatment including counseling, medication-assisted therapy, and 12-step programs. It can be convenient to use one of these local programs when seeking recovery, especially if family or loved ones wish to take part in rehabilitation.
However, much can be said for seeking therapy outside of your own city or state, especially when substances are so easily accessible in your area. Sometimes, the change of scenery is a much-needed step in recovery and being able to separate yourself from the environment that your addiction was created in can be important to putting yourself in a healthier mental state.
Whatever you choose, it is important to explore available treatment options. If you don’t know where to start, treatment providers can help. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss available options.