“Focus on Fentanyl” Video Series Highlights Drug’s Growing Danger and County’s Measures to Protect Public
Maricopa County has unveiled a new video series and website designed to help residents understand the growing impact of fentanyl use and prevent tragedies in their communities. In Maricopa County, more than three people die every day on average due to fentanyl.
In addition to telling the stories of a local mom whose teenage son died from taking a single hydrocodone pill laced with fentanyl and a young man whose life changed dramatically through drug use and recovery, “Focus on Fentanyl” shines a light on the rising number of fentanyl overdoses and the County’s efforts to combat the crisis.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4, enlisted County leaders in his mission to tackle the growing threat as he began his term as Chairman in January. “Focus on Fentanyl” showcases the efforts of the Maricopa County departments and elected officials to inform the community about the dangers of fentanyl, overdose prevention and treatment, and law enforcement measures.
“From the Office of the Medical Examiner and Public Health, who are tracking vital data and funding drug treatment partners to the Sheriff and County Attorney offices, who are arresting and prosecuting drug dealers to get fentanyl off our streets, we have made this focus a priority and are working hard to protect our neighbors across the County,” Hickman said.
Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said Maricopa County is on the front lines of the nation’s fentanyl crisis and her office is committed to holding drug dealers accountable. In 2017, the Attorney’s Office prosecuted 37 fentanyl cases. In 2022, that number jumped to 6,629 fentanyl cases.
Mitchell points out that the youth who are most affected by the crisis lack awareness about the drug and its dangers.
“Our teens who are most affected by this crisis don’t know what fentanyl looks like and they don’t know how deadly it can be. Teenagers should be able to learn from their mistakes. They should not have to die from them,” she said.
Designed as a tool that community groups can use to help educate their audiences, the video series also teaches individuals how to recognize the signs of overdose and administer Narcan (Naloxone) nasal spray with a video featuring Maricopa County Medical Director Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine.
The “Focus on Fentanyl” videos and other informational resources are available for use by the public at Maricopa.gov/fentanyl.
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.
“Fighting Fentanyl Together” Community Forums
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will continue its series of free community forums featuring County Attorney Rachel Mitchell and a panel of experts who will share valuable insights and resources. A Spanish-language forum will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 1375 E. Broadway Road. An English-language forum will be held at 6 p.m. March 4 at Notre Dame Preparatory High School, 9701 E. Bell Road. For details, visit Maricopa.gov/fentanyl.
Fast Facts About Fentanyl
The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner reports that:
- Fentanyl has overtaken Meth as the deadliest drug in Arizona
- Fentanyl deaths have increased by nearly 5,000 percent since 2015
- 60 percent of all drug-related deaths involve fentanyl