Arizona Launches Nation's First 24-hour Opioid Hotline

"We are here to answer questions—anything related to opioids—we are here to help out."
"...Providing tips such as safe prescribing limits, identifying dangerous drug combinations, and chronic pain treatment options"

Arizona has launched one of the nation's first real-time, comprehensive opioid hotlines for medical providers. Experts hope it will help physicians seeking guidance for patients with pain and opioid-use disorder, as well as serve as a resource for the public.

The free 24/7 hotline operated by medical experts in Arizona aims to help provide reliable opioid-related information and resources. The one-of-a-kind resource is called the "The Arizona Opioid Assistance and Referral Line." It was created by the Arizona Department of Health Services and Arizona's Poison and Drug Information Centers. "We are here to answer questions—anything related to opioids—we are here to help out," Steve Dudley, PharmD, clinical toxicologist at the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center said.

So far, the hotline is connecting Arizona health care providers with experts, a combination of physicians, pharmacists and genetic counselors, at poison control centers in Tucson and Phoenix. It is also providing tips such as safe prescribing limits, identifying dangerous drug combinations, and chronic pain treatment options. "It always comes down to their professional judgment, but sometimes they want to know if something is correct and that's what we are here for," Dr. Dudley added. The hotline can also give doctors information on caring for patients who are suffering from an opioid-use disorder.

In the past weeks, calls have been pouring in from physicians, but poison center officials want everyone to know that the line is open to the public. "I think it will really open up doors and get resources out there that would have gone unnoticed," Dr. Dudley concluded.

The hotline number is 1-888-688-4222.

This story was originally published by KGUN9