Arizona Substance Abuse Statistics
In 1912, Arizona became the United States’ 48th state. It is well known for its colorful natural landforms, the most recognizable of which might just be the Grand Canyon. The canyon, which was carved over thousands of years by the Colorado River, is an astonishing 6,000 feet deep and 18 miles wide. The Painted Desert to the northeast covers 160 miles of badlands with gold, copper, rust, and red striped stone. Arizona is also home to the Petrified Forest National Park, Red Rock State Park, and the Sonoran Desert. However, as beautiful as the Grand Canyon State is, it also has a darker side: an epidemic of alcohol and drug use in Arizona. The widespread availability of prescription painkillers, alcohol, and street drugs can lead to dependency and addiction, and Arizona substance abuse statistics are sobering.
Prescription Drug Abuse in Arizona
According to the recently released National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Arizona is near the top of the country when it comes to prescription drug misuse. Between 2018 and 2019, nearly 215,000 Arizona residents over the age of 18 were abusing pain relievers.
Opiates, prescription pain medications, and benzodiazepines are among the most commonly abused prescription drugs. State officials cite a variety of factors contributing to Arizona’s high rate of drug abuse, including:
Inadequate education on the risk of prescription drug misuse
Doctors over-prescribing medication
Patients sharing or selling unused medications
While prescription drugs might seem like a safer alternative to street drugs, their abuse can lead to major problems. Arizona emergency rooms see a significant number of overdoses due to prescription pain relievers, and arrests for driving under the influence have increased as well.
Don’t let the old way of thinking prevent you from getting the help you need. If you have a co-occurring condition, check into Lakeview Health, so you can begin the process of regaining control of your life.
Risks of Prescription Drugs
The risks of prescription drug abuse are serious. According to the CDC, even when taken as directed, prescription opioids can lead to:
- Pain sensitivity
- Physical dependence
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Low testosterone levels
Opioid dependence or abuse can also increase the risk of addiction to heroin, which is illegal and highly dangerous. Prescription drug abuse and dependency can be complex issues, and while the state is taking a proactive approach to ending it, those who are battling addiction need a compassionate, comprehensive program with individualized treatment programs and support.
Alcohol Abuse Statistics
A glass of wine to end a busy day or a celebratory drink with friends is common and considered pretty benign. When does drinking stop being social and start being a problem? In Arizona, problem drinking might be more common than many people realize. The Arizona Department of Health Services defines binge drinking as drinking five or more alcoholic drinks on a single occasion in one day.
According to the same SAMHSA study, the state has a serious binge drinking problem. Between 2018 and 2019, close to 1,266,000 people binge drank within the month of the survey. While often seen as a party behavior, binge drinking might be more strongly correlated with self-medicating for things like marital stress, depression, and other common psychiatric issues. Furthermore, others may be alcohol dependent as well, which means that they rely heavily on alcohol, either physically or psychologically.
When drinking becomes a problem or interferes with other aspects of a person’s life, it is time to get help. Alcohol abuse can lead to many short- and long-term physical and emotional problems, including:
- Alcohol poisoning
- High blood pressure
- Intimate partner violence and sexual violence
- Pregnancy complications
- An increased risk of accidents and injuries
- Social and relationship problems
In such cases, it’s almost always best to seek an alcohol addiction treatment program.
Street Drugs and Substance Abuse Statistics
Most people associate street drugs with substance abuse, and it is true that street drugs are both commonly abused and dangerous substances. In Arizona, they are also frighteningly easy to access.
Statistics surrounding drug use in Arizona include:
- Close to 107,000 people used cocaine in the year before the 2018 survey
- 22,000 people used heroin, which is heavily trafficked along the border
- About 104,000 people used methamphetamines, which is related to a sharp increase in amphetamine-related hospital admission of patients in their 20s
Marijuana use is also common in Arizona. However, in 2020, the voters legalized this substance. As a result, state residents can possess up to an ounce of this substance and grow at most six plants. However, there is also the potential for abuse and addiction, so if you're struggling to control your marijuana use, please contact Lakeview Health today.
Street drugs can affect users in many ways. Most can alter thinking and increase the risk of injury or accidents, and they can lead to serious health consequences, especially for pregnant women. Even over-the-counter medications, such as dextromethorphan, can cause altered thinking when abused. Additionally, many people combine medications or drugs, which can lead to respiratory depression and other potentially dangerous health problems.
Risk of Overdose in Arizona
An overdose occurs when a person takes too much of the drug in a short period of time. This condition can be fatal if the individual doesn’t get emergency treatment in time. In Arizona, overdose often occurs when someone takes multiple substances at once, such as using multiple opioids or combining alcohol and medications. This action can cause a range of complications, including:
Nausea or vomiting
Drowsiness or excessive sleepiness
Loss of consciousness
Low blood pressure and breathing rates
Changes in the individual’s mental or emotional state
In the worst cases, overdose can be fatal. It’s imperative to seek treatment before you have the chance to overdose.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, most overdose cases in the state involve fentanyl, a highly potent opioid. Following fentanyl, another common drug people overdosed with is benzodiazepines. Fortunately, there are treatment options available for both benzodiazepine addiction and fentanyl addiction. To learn about the treatment options available, please contact Lakeview Health today.
Substance Abuse Rehabilitation at Lakeview Health
Those who are struggling with physical or emotional dependence on drugs or alcohol can find success with the right support system. Many substance abuse programs are available in Arizona. The most successful programs are those that recognize that each patient is an individual and needs a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan that addresses not just the addiction but also underlying issues that contributed to or caused the addiction, according to the NIH. However, it isn’t always necessary to find treatment within your state. At Lakeview Health, located in Jacksonville, Florida, we provide addiction treatment for patients from Florida and across the United States, including Arizona residents. Our team offers individualized treatment options for patients across the United States, and we provide a range of programs for a variety of substances.
Our successful programs also share certain other characteristics, including:
- Counseling and behavioral therapy
- Medical detox and non-addictive medication as necessary
- Infectious disease testing and treatment as needed
- Inpatient treatment options
- Long-term follow-up care
Lakeview Health offers personalized out-of-state substance abuse treatment programs for those who are battling addictions directly as well as their families. Both residential and outpatient programs are available, including recovery coaching to help patients continue their healing journey after discharge.