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Ducey Declares Statewide Emergency Amid Opioid Epidemic

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has declared a statewide health emergency following an increase of opioid-related deaths in the state.

recent report found overdoses killed nearly 800 Arizonans last year. The number has steadily risen during the last five years.

The governor's declaration Monday comes with an order that the state Department of Health Services increase reporting on opioid-related deaths. He also wants the department to review ways to increase the availability of the opioid antidote naloxone, develop guidelines to increase health care provider education and expand access to treatment.

Last week's report shows that 790 Arizonans died of opioid overdoses in 2016, more than two a day. Prescription opioids caused 482 deaths, compared to 308 for heroin.

The number of overdose deaths in Arizona has gone up by nearly 75 percent since 2012, when 454 were reported.

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