New Treatment Options for Opioid Misuse, Abuse or Dependence

Opioid Misuse, Abuse and Dependency treatmentThe opioid epidemic is a public health emergency in Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, an estimated 6,700 possible opioid overdoses have been reported between June 15, 2017 and March 22, 2018, with as many as 16 percent of them fatal. From prescription opioid overuse to abuse of illegally produced opioids like heroin and fentanyl, the epidemic is damaging families across all demographics in our state.

It’s likely you know someone who is affected by opioid use disorder. AHCCCS, as the administrator of a Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant, has increase treatment options.

24/7 Access To Treatment

Arizona now has five agencies providing opioid treatment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve individuals who need immediate access to treatment services and connections to ongoing services.

  • Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Kingman Recovery and Observation Unit 1301 W. Beale Street, Kingman, AZ 86401, 928-263-6515
  • West Yavapai Guidance Clinic, Crisis Stabilization Unit 8655 E. Eastridge Drive, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314, 928-445-5211
  • Community Medical Services 2301 W. Northern Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021, 602-866-9378
  • Community Bridges, East Valley Addiction Recovery Center 560 S. Bellview, Mesa, AZ 85204, 480-461-1711
  • CODAC Health, Recovery and Wellness 380 E. Ft. Lowell Road, Tucson, AZ 85705, 520-202-178

Crisis, Treatment and Support Resources

Services are available to residents in every Arizona county.

If you live in Maricopa County:

  • Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care Member Services:
    602-586-1841 or 1-800-564-5465
  • Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care Crisis Line:
    602-222-9444 or 1-800-631-1314

Stand Together and Recover Centers (STAR) facilitates an opioid support group for ages 18 and older on Wednesdays, 6-7 pm at STAR, 2502 E Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85034. There is no fee and no referral needed. Call 602-231-0071 for more information.

If you live in Yavapai, Gila, Mohave, Coconino, Navajo or Apache Counties:

  • Health Choice Integrated Care Customer Service:
  • Health Choice Integrated Care Crisis Line:
  • 877-756-4090

If you live in La Pa, Yuma, Pinal, Pima, Graham, Greenlee, Cochise or Santa Cruz Counties:

  • Cenpatico Integrated Care Customer Service:
  • Cenpatico Integrated Care Crisis Line:

Download a printable Getting Help for opioid misuse, abuse or dependence flier to share.

Other Resources:

Centers for Disease Control Opioid Overdose Information

National Institute on Drug Abuse Opioid Information

Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family Treatment Locator



Words Matter When It Comes to Mental Health. Please, Think Before You Speak!

Stop stigma.

Public Health Awareness Week is a perfect time to talk about mental health. You probably know the statistic that 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition. But did you know that only 41% of those adults in the U.S. will receive treatment? Why so few?

Frankly, one barrier to seeking treatment is stigma. It’s the fear of being labeled, demeaned, and discarded for admitting they need help. Stigmatizing words can cause shame and embarrassment and lead to feelings of hopelessness. People in need of help may hear these descriptions and decide they don’t want to become “one of those people.”

The words we use to describe mental health, mental illness, and treatment are critical to fighting—and ending—stigma.  By simply changing the words you use, you can help someone who may feel shame about seeking help for a mental illness. The right words show respect for the experience that someone else is living.

So what can you do? Think before your speak.  Start by using person-centered language. It’s language that focuses on a person’s humanity rather than a diagnosis. Think, “person first.” Instead of saying, “he is a schizophrenic” change the phrase to “he is living with schizophrenia” or “he is a person with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.”

Here are other examples:

 She is a person who receives help/treatment for mental health or substance use problem or a psychiatric disability. She is a patient.
 He is a person with a disability. He is disabled/handicapped.
 She is a child without disabilities.  She is normal.
 He has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or is living with bipolar disorder. He is (a) bipolar.
 She has a mental health problem or challenge.  She is mentally ill/emotionally disturbed/psycho/insane/lunatic.
 He has a brain injury. He is brain damaged.
 He experiences symptoms of psychosis. He hears voices. He is psychotic.
 She has an intellectual disability. She is mentally retarded.
 He has autism. He is autistic.
 Is receiving mental health services Mental health patient/case
Attempted suicide Unsuccessful suicide
Died by suicide Committed suicide
 A student receiving special education services Special education student
Person with substance use disorder; person experiencing alcohol/drug problem Addict, abuser, junkie
Experiencing, or being treated for, or has a diagnosis of, or a history of, mental illness Suffering with, or a victim of, a mental illness

Source: American Psychiatric Association

The AHCCCS Office of Individual and Family Affairs has more information about how you can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Contact OIFA at or call 602-542-7170.



How to Help Survivors of Suicide

Supporting survivors of suicideBy Dana Hearn, Assistant Director, AHCCCS Division of Health Care Advocacy and Advancement

In life, we survive many things – natural disasters, plane crashes, abuse, disease… but SOS defines a different survival. Survivors of Suicide is specific to those left behind after a loved one commits suicide.

Experts have been conflicted about the average number of those left behind—estimating that approximately 25 survivors struggle with the grief and loss when someone takes their own life. This is baffling, as I see many people struggling with the loss of my brother. Friends from all over the country celebrate his life each year since he has been gone and we all still struggle every day to find peace and understanding with why he had to go.

Unlike many deaths that have understood causes, suicide leaves many “what-ifs” behind, unanswered questions, guilt, and the mystery that can surround a suicide. Cumulatively, they can take a toll on a survivor.

The search for answers can go on for a lifetime, sometimes without resolution.  Countless sleepless nights and endless thoughts and questions pile on top of the stigma associated with how their loved one left the world. People will often say very strange things if they say anything at all. Some of us lose friendships simply because people don’t know how to discuss the topic.  The risks of suicide are increased when a person has lost a loved one to suicide.


  • Acknowledging survivors is of the utmost importance with regards to awareness and prevention.
  • Keep the survivors you know in your thoughts as we enter the holiday season. Recognize that the feelings of loss may be amplified as families gather yet someone is missing.
  • When survivors unite and recognize each other’s unique pain it is a medicine like no other. If there is anyone you know who may have lost a loved one to suicide, feel free to get them connected to survivors of suicide support group in Arizona.  Empact runs great SOS programs.

AHCCCS manages Arizona’s state plan to end suicide, including the component geared to survivor services.

Other resources for survivors:

American Association of Suicidology: Helping Survivors of Suicide: What Can You Do?

Suicide Prevention Resource Center: Responding to Grief, Trauma and Distress After a Suicide

Join the AHCCCS Walk Team at the AFSP Out of Darkness Walk, Dec. 9, 2017