Arizona has launched the nation's first real-time, comprehensive opioid hotline for medical providers and the general public.
The free, 24/7 hotline aims to provide reliable opioid-related information and resources to providers and the general public residing in Arizona. The one-of-a-kind resource is called the "The Arizona Opioid Assistance and Referral Line." Created by the Arizona Department of Health Services as part of Governor Ducey's OPIOID EPIDEMIC ACT legislation, the call center is run by Arizona's Poison and Drug Information Center housed in the UA College of Pharmacy in Tucson and the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix.
So far, the hotline is connecting Arizona health care providers and the public with experts, a combination of physicians, pharmacists and genetic counselors. It is also providing tips such as safe prescribing limits, identifying dangerous drug combinations, and sharing chronic pain treatment options. All calls into the center are confidential and callers remain anonymous. "It always comes down to professional judgment, but sometimes callers want to know if something is correct or signs of concerning behavior related to opioid misuse 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.
Since the hotline's launch in late March this year, 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, and contains updates from the College of Pharmacy.