Maricopa County is located in central Arizona and is the largest county in the state. It is the fourth largest county in the United States, with more than half the population of Arizona and more residents than 23 states in America. But being that big can come with drawbacks, as densely populated areas can become overrun with drug use. And this has definitely been the case with Maricopa County, who has seen a worsening of its substance abuse problems as America’s drug epidemic has raged on. From 2015 to 2017, there were 2,473 drug overdose deaths in Maricopa County, an astronomical figure reported by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. This figure clearly shows how many lives could have been saved with drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in the area. Clearly, there is a need that is not being met. But there are treatment services available in Maricopa County that could be utilized to save the lives of those who are still alive and struggling with substance abuse, a number far larger than those who have died. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of making these services known and helping people find them.
One of the main causes of death since the drug epidemic began has been opioids. These drugs are extremely addictive and can kill easily from an overdose. A big reason for this is because Fentanyl is becoming increasingly available, a drug which is many times stronger than heroin. This drug kills with a little as a few grains and is manufactured synthetically in clandestine laboratories, often overseas. The drug is then smuggled into the United States where it is combined with heroin to make the product much stronger. Fillers are then added to this mixture to more than double the volume sometimes, giving the drug a dealer much more room for profit at the expense of lives. Unless mixed perfectly, the Fentanyl will be inconsistently dispersed and found in deadly concentrations within parts of the batch. This is a common cause of overdose, the unsuspecting person consuming a “hot” bag of heroin. Drug overdose can also be caused by many other substances, and another leading cause has been methamphetamines. Meth is an entirely different drug than it was 20 years ago, far more potent and even cheaper than ever. That’s because as America clamped down on the sales of chemicals used to manufacture the substance in the 90s and early 2000s, Mexican drug cartels recognized the opportunity in the market and began manufacturing meth on a massive scale. Regulations are looser in Mexico, and these chemicals can be purchased in bulk. Cartels have the resources to use top of the line equipment and make a product far more deadly than was once produced in rural America in small batches. Now, we’re seeing meth overdoses regularly many leading to death from cardiac arrest.
No matter the drug that’s being abused, treatment is available in Maricopa county that can help. But they can’t do anything if the people in need don’t reach out. You can always speak with an addiction professional confidentially, so don’t hesitate to call and take the first step.