The Arizona Department of Health Services and the Poison and Drug Information Centers of Arizona teamed up to offer the first opioid helpline in the country.
The Arizona Opioid Assistance and Referral (OAR) line is free and connects the public and state health-care providers with experts, including nurses, doctors, pharmacists and genetic counselors to provide resources for patients with symptoms like chronic pain, opioid withdrawal or opioid complications.
The helpline also is available to help with safe prescribing limits, identify dangerous drug combinations and provide referrals to treatment centers across the state of opioid addiction.
OAR line staff members also follow-up with patients directly to confirm they are doing well and maintain contact with the referred service providers to address new or additional concerns.
The hotline launched in March 2018. Staff members say over 1,100 opioid-related calls have been placed.
The helpline is operated by Arizona's two poison centers. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and the Banner Poison Drug and Information Center in Phoenix.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has recorded close to 1,700 suspected opioid deaths and close to 11,200 suspected opioid overdoses since June 2017.