Starting on January 1, 2019, the state of Arizona is now requiring doctors in metropolitan areas to write prescriptions for opioid medications exclusively online. This E-prescription requirement is part of a broader set of limitations set forth in the recently adopted Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. For young adults all over the United States, opioid addiction often begins with a prescription for opioids following wisdom tooth extraction surgery. This measure by the Arizona legislature is intended to ensure that teens’ propensity for addictive behaviors does not result in addiction through continual renewal of such prescriptions.
In addition to attempting to curb the number of opioid painkiller prescriptions being written, Arizona is launching a new public service campaign with the tagline “Opioids getting in is easier than getting out.” The campaign contains graphic images of drug use and its effects, and it is expected to discourage teenagers and young adults from trying addictive opioid substances.
As part of the campaign, survivors of opioid addiction are telling their story at local schools around the state. Officials and those working on this campaign hope survivors’ stories of overdose, illness, and the harrowing recovery process will be sufficient to help many Arizona teens decide in advance to say “no” to recreational or excessive use of opioid medications.