Expanded blood test regulations detect opioid overdose

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Arizona Department of Health Services has new guidelines to test potential drug overdoses.

The blood test uses a toxicology panel to better detect and identify drugs involved in overdoses in Arizona. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Opioid crisis in Arizona]

"Data is a critical tool in addressing the opioid epidemic in Arizona because it allows us to evaluate populations that are most at risk for overdoses so we can work with our partners to develop life-saving interventions," said ADHS director Dr. Cara Christ.

In addition to the new blood tests, emergency rules that regulate the administration of opioids as part of patient treatment were implemented.

Healthcare institutions are now required to implement policies and procedures for prescribing, ordering and administering opioids.

Opioid-related deaths escalated to a 10-year high in 2016, according to the Department of Health Services. Last year, 790 Arizona locals died from opioid overdoses, a 74 percent increase during the last four years.

In response, Governor Doug Ducey signed an emergency declaration to address the growing number of deaths.

[RELATED: Ducey follows opioid crisis declaration with reporting order]

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