Focus on Fentanyl

Fentanyl is now the deadliest drug in Arizona. Just a few grains of fentanyl are enough to kill an adult male. And it's not always easy to spot—fentanyl is often mixed into other illicit or prescription drugs, so users don't know what they've taken until it's too late. 

Maricopa County departments and elected offices are united in the fight against fentanyl, but we need your help to raise awareness and change behavior.

This collection of stories and resources is designed to help families, teachers and school administrators, community leaders, public health partners, and law enforcement agencies get the conversation started. Together, our focus on fentanyl can save lives.

Personal Stories Fatality & Overdose  Taking Action Resources


A Mother's Heartbreak:
Shari Dukes' Story

A personal story from a mother who lost her son from a single hydrocodone pill that was laced with fentanyl in 2019.

Addiction to Recovery:
Ronny Morales' Story

A personal story from a recovering fentanyl addict about how the drug impacted his life and how he beat his addiction.


Staggering Rise in Fentanyl-related Deaths:
Maricopa County Chief  Medical Examiner, 
Dr. Jeff Johnston

  • Fentanyl has overtaken meth as the deadliest drug in Arizona. 
  • Fentanyl deaths have increased by 4,900 percent since 2015. 
  • 60 percent of all drug-related deaths involve fentanyl. 
  • In Maricopa County, more than three people die every day on average due to fentanyl.
  • Fentanyl data is provided to health partners and policy makers to help fight this fatal drug.

Identifying and Treating an Overdose:
Maricopa County Medical Director, 
Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine

Learn the signs of a fentanyl overdose and how to use Naloxone (Narcan) to revive someone. 
Signs to Watch For:

  • Pinpoint pupils 
  • Slow, shallow breathing 
  • Loss of consciousness or excessive sleepiness 
  • Choking or gurgling sounds 
  • A limp body 
  • Bluish skin or lips


Fight Against Fentanyl is a Top Priority:
Chairman, Clint Hickman

  • In 2022, Arizona seized fentanyl pills valued at $28 million.
  • Eradicating this drug is one of the Chairman’s top priorities. 
  • The Chairman enlisted County departments and elected officials to combat this deadly drug.

Prosecuting Fentanyl Dealers is a Top Priority:
County Attorney, Rachel Mitchell

  • Fentanyl cases submitted to the County Attorney’s Office has skyrocketed since 2017.
  • In 2017, 37 fentanyl cases were prosecuted. 
  • In 2022, fentanyl cases increased to 6,629.
  • Use the information in this video to educate your teens and loved ones.

Fentanyl In the Younger Community:
Detective, Matthew Shay 

  • Vast majority of fentanyl is coming from the Sinaloa Drug Cartel in Mexico.
  • Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is seizing millions of fentanyl pills every year.
  • As little as 12 grains of this lethal drug can kill an adult male. 
  • Teens are buying this drug through social media. 
  • Good Samaritan Law: You can seek help for a fentanyl overdose if you’ve been taking the drug or get help for someone that is overdosing even if you were taking the drug with them without fear of prosecution.