Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act unanimously passed in special session
Arizona 360 Episode 104 on Friday January 26, 2018, 8:30 PM PBS 6
Host: Lorraine Rivera | Producer: Kassandra Lau | Arizona Public Media
In its first major order of business, the Arizona Legislature tackled the opioid epidemic by unanimously passing the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act in a special session. Gov. Doug Ducey signed the legislation Friday. He initiated the special session to take up the measure on Monday.
Daniel Derksen oversees the University of Arizona Center for Rural Health, which just received a $2 million federal grant to reduce opioid deaths.
He told Lorraine Rivera how new legislation begins to address the crisis: “This is a public health approach to a very difficult issue… If there were two to three people dying per day.. [from] Ebola virus … you would get a whole different level of urgency. The urgency should be just as high for this [opioid] epidemic as it would be for an infectious disease. This isn’t just affecting a certain segment of the population. This has penetrated our high schools, our grade schools, wherever you live in the state – whether it’s rural or urban, Phoenix or Tucson – we have to take this to a whole different level if we are going to make an impact.” Daniel Derksen, M.D.