Arizona poison centers sound alarm as fentanyl overdoses spike

The DEA's office in Tucson says fentanyl is touching lives of all ages and it's being found in record-breaking amounts.
Published: Feb. 1, 2022 at 6:52 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Arizona poison centers are sounding the alarm due to a spike in fentanyl overdoses.

The DEA’s office in Tucson said fentanyl is touching lives of all ages and it’s being found in record-breaking amounts. The agency seized 1.7 million fentanyl pills in Scottsdale this past December.

“Four out of 10 pills has a lethal dose according to our laboratory analysis,” said Polo Ruiz, an assistant special agent at the DEA’s Tucson office.

CODAC Health, Recovery & Wellness recovery coach, Liliane Armstrong, who overcame her own 17-year active addiction, understands the tragedy that can be caused by this deadly drug.

“My son-in-law in 2019 passed away from a fentanyl overdose,” Armstrong said.

Doctors say in the past people used drugs and didn’t know they were laced with fentanyl but now this isn’t necessarily the case

“At this point to be honest with you, people know they’re getting fentanyl and that’s what is very concerning,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, the Medical Director at the Banner Poison & Drug Information Center.

Armstrong said fentanyl can be as cheap as $1 to $2 a pill which is causing more people to use it.

“It’s their drug of choice. It’s no longer heroin, it’s no longer meth,” she said.

She wants the public to also know recovery is possible.

“There’s always someone who has been in your shoes no matter how unique we think we are,” Armstrong said. “There’ always someone who has been there done that and on the path to recovery.”

We have information about the DEA’s One Pill Can Kill campaign and the confidential and free Arizona Opioid Assistance and Referral Line, here.

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