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Phoenix Organizations Work To Curb Addiction To Painkillers

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 7:51am

More than half a million Americans died of opioid abuse from 2000 to 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Several East Valley organizations have joined together in an effort to curb addiction to the powerful painkillers.

Members of the East Valley Regional Opioid Action Planning Committee met Wednesday to present their plans moving forward.

Tempe City Councilmember Joel Navarro said it’s important to work together to create a healthier community.

“PD, fire, Department of Health and DEA. We tried to get them in one room and really try to advocate or to help design programs that really truly can make an impact,"  Navarro said.

He said the increase in addiction nationwide could be due to doctors over prescribing pain meds. Navarro said early education is key for decreasing and preventing opioid abuse.

“We know that our best outcomes are really trying to get to the youth early to understand the effects of these types of addictions,” Navarro said.

Arizona had one of highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2015.