View the latest health news and explore articles that pertain to the county's health priority areas.

Administration Plans to Tackle the Opioid Epidemic and Reduce Future Aaddiction

President Donald J. Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand

March 19, 2018

President Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse will address factors fueling the opioid crisis, including over-prescription, illicit drug supplies, and insufficient access to evidence-based treatment, primary prevention, and recovery support services. The President’s Opioid Initiative will:

  • Reduce drug demand through education, awareness, and preventing over-prescription.
  • Cut off the flow of illicit drugs across our borders and within communities.
  • Save lives now by expanding opportunities for proven treatments for opioid and other drug addictions.

Read the full press release at:

States with the Highest Student-to-School Counselor Ratios include Arizona (924:1).

Study ranks Arizona last in student-to-counselor ratio

March 12, 2018

School counselors in American public schools currently serve an average of 482 students, a caseload nearly twice the recommended maximum of 250. Findings highlighted in a new report from the NACAC and ASCA show that the average student-to-school counselor ratio has increased by 1% over the past decade. States with the highest student-to-school counselor ratios included Arizona (924:1), Michigan (729:1), and Minnesota (729:1).

View the report: NACAC State-by-State Student-to-Counselor Ratio Report

View the article at: Tucson News Now and NACAC Newsroom

Study Shows Populations Living at Higher Altitudes Have Increased Suicide Rates

Could living at high altitude increase suicide risk? Evidence suggests possible treatments.

March 9, 2018

The increased suicide rates might be explained by blood oxygen levels due to low atmospheric pressure, according to the article by Brent Michael Kious, MD, PhD, of University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and colleagues. Pending further research, the evidence may point to possible treatments to reduce the effects of low blood oxygen on mood and suicidal thoughts.

Read the full article at: ScienceDaily

16% of Students Currently Use an E-cigarette.

Pima County Health Warns Of Student Vaping: Report

March 8, 2018

The Pima County Health Department warns that the student use of vapes is a growing problem. They say that 16 percent of students are currently use an e-cigarette. They explain that e-cigarette use has been a problem for years and are concerned that e-cigarette use leads to the use of harder drugs.

Read more at: Tucson News Now

Research Suggests that I-talk May be a Marker for Depression

Frequent 'I-Talk' May Signal Proneness to Emotional Distress

March 7, 2018

People who talk a lot about themselves are not narcissists as one might expect, but may be prone to depression, anxiety and other negative emotions, UA researchers found.

Read more at: UANews

Arizona Prepares to Launch Opioid Hotline for Health Care Providers

One of the nation’s first real-time, comprehensive opioid hotlines for medical providers to launch

February 28, 2018

The hotline was one of the recommendations in the Opioid Action Plan developed by ADHS to respond to Arizona’s opioid epidemic. The Arizona Opioid Assistance and Referral Line will expand in the Spring of 2018 to provide referrals for the general public seeking treatment resources for opioid-use disorder.

Read more at: State of Reform

Learn more about AZ efforts at: ADHS Opioid Epidemic

New App May Predict Diabetes Long Before Blood Sugar Levels Do

Cardiogram’s DeepHeart App Can Detect Diabetes

February 8, 2018

Cardiogram released a new study Wednesday that demonstrated the ability of its DeepHeart app to use data gathered from wearables to correctly detect diabetes in 85% of users.

The study had 14,011 participants from all over the world, and collected 200 million unlabeled sensor measurements.

Although the app isn’t intended to be a primary diagnostic tool, it could be used to help alert patients with undiagnosed diabetes to the possibility that they have the condition, and could encourage them to seek medical care.

Read more at: The Longevity Network

Find the app here: Apple

4-year $3.1 million grant awarded to ADHS and UA Center for Rural Health to fight opioid crisis.

Tackling the Opioid Crisis in Arizona: UA Center for Rural Health Has Key Role

February 1, 2018

The University of Arizona Center for Rural Health is partnering with the Arizona Department of Health Services and other state agencies to train first responders to recognize opioid overdoses and to administer the drug naloxone to prevent fatalities.

The effort is funded with a four-year, $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to the Arizona Department of Health Services and the UA Center for Rural Health, at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Read more here: Arizona Teleedicine Program

Complete Streets Policy for the City of Tucson

LSA Takes the lead in developing a complete-streets policy for tucson

January 29, 2018

In October 2016, Living Streets Alliance (LSA) was awarded a grant from Voices for Healthy Kids to pursue a robust and equitable Complete Streets policy in Tucson.

LSA’s approach is focused on developing a Complete Streets policy in the City of Tucson, ensuring that all future road construction and reconstruction projects create a complete network that is safe and convenient for all people using all modes of transportation. 

Read more here: Living Streets Alliance

Governor Doug Ducey Signs Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act

Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act

January 26, 2018

The Arizona Legislature unanimously approved Gov. Doug Ducey's proposal to crack down on excess opioid prescribing and add other regulations designed to cut down on addictions and overdose deaths.

The Act bars doctors from prescribing more than an initial five-day supply of pain medication in most cases, boosts pain clinic regulation and adds $10 million to help uninsured people get addiction treatment.

Read more here: Phoenix New Times

The Most Common Place for Falls: The Home

How to Prevent Falls

January 8, 2018

Among other steps to take that can reduce the risk of falling is to maintain physical strength and balance as you age. If you're uncertain of your stability or agility, consider some sessions with the physical therapist and practice the recommended exercises regularly. Higher level of physical activity have been shown to protect against falls.

Read the full article in: The New York Times

Grab a newly printed map of The Loop, bike bells and other safety items during outreach events held through the end of February 2018.

Bike Ambassador events

December 28, 2017

Pima County’s Bike Ambassadors will hand out newly printed maps of The Loop (Pima County’s 120-mile-plus shared-use path), bike bells and other safety items as part of outreach events held through the end of February 2018.

All events will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. with exceptions for two special events. Dates and locations can be found here: Pima County’s Bike Ambassadors

Law enforcement looks at ‘treatment first’ as an option for those who are addicted.

Arizona Angel Initiative

December 22, 2017

The Arizona Angel Initiative allows citizens to walk into a police precinct, turn in their drugs and request treatment without fear of prosecution. Angels are also able to help parents secure safe placement for their child(ren) while they are in treatment in lieu of placing their child(ren) in the foster care system.

Read more here: Arizona Governor's Office

U.S. drug overdoses jumped significantly in 2016 to more than 63,600, and more than 42,200 of them were attributed to opioids.

Life Expectancy Drops Again As Opioid Deaths Surge In U.S.

December 21, 2017

Life expectancy in the U.S. fell for the second year in a row in 2016, nudged down again by a surge in fatal opioid overdoses.

The rate of drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids also jumped significantly, from 3.1 per 100,000 in 2015 and 6.2 per 100,000 in 2016.

You can read the full article here: NPR Arizona Public Media

[Diabetes] alters the healthy copper balance that more typically enables new blood vessel formation
— Dr. Tohru Fukai

Excessive copper in diabetes impedes ability to make new blood vessels

December 18, 2017

Scientists have evidence that in diabetes, copper can pile up inside our cells, wreaking havoc on our ability to make new blood vessels. Treatments that target ATP7A, a copper transporter that normally helps ensure healthy copper levels in our bodies, may one day help patients with diabetes recover the innate ability to make healthy new blood vessels, say Dr. Masuko Ushio-Fukai, vascular biologist and cardiologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Read the full article here: Augusta University

Flawed study claims Tucson ranks #2 most dangerous city for Bicyclists.

study is “severely flawed" and of "little use”.

December 13, 2017

Study published by 24/7 Wall St. was found to be "flawed and not consistent with what would be required in terms of method of analysis in order to draw the state conclusions."

Read the memorandum from C.H. here: Pima County

Read about Tucson's efforts here: Arizona Sonora News

1.4 people per 100,000 residents die as a result of pedestrian-involved car crashes in Arizona.

Arizona pedestrians among nation's most likely to die in fatal crash

December 6, 2017

There were 1,637 crashes involving pedestrians in Arizona in 2016, according to data compiled by the Arizona Department of Transportation. Those 1,637 crashes resulted in 1,448 injured and 197 killed pedestrians. Some accidents involved more than one pedestrian struck.

You can read the full article here:  AZ Central

In 2015, overdose deaths occurred at a rate of 17.0/100,000 people in rural populations vs. 16.2/100,000 people in metropolitan areas.

Declaring Opioids A Health Emergency Could Make Treatment More Widely Available

October 26, 2017

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is proven to be among the most effective treatments for opioid abuse disorders.

Including MAT  as a part of general medical practices more often could ease concerns of patients who don’t want to visit substance abuse treatment centers because of the stigma attached to addiction.

You can read the full article here: FiveThirtyEight

Every seven hours someone in Arizona dies of suicide, with 2 out of 3 having undiagnosed depression.

depression and fight against teen suicide

October 11, 2017

Teenage suicide continues to climb across the country, with the rate among young girls hitting a 40-year high.

KOLD News 13 spoke to 19-year-old Ivona about her suicide attempt and struggle with depression. 

You can read the full at: KOLD News 13

For more Arizona suicide statistics visit the: AFSP

For more national statistics, visit the: CDC

15% of U.S. moms suffer from a postpartum mood disorder like anxiety or depression.

Mommy Mentors Help Fight The Stigma Of Postpartum Mood Disorders

September 29, 2017

A recent review, published in the journal Child Development, suggests distressed mothers may benefit from ongoing nurturing, especially from those in similar situations. The researchers also found that support from peers and tending to a mother's well-being increases positive parenting behaviors.

You can read the full article here: NRP Arizona Public Media

Pima County Falls Prevention Awareness Day: Sept. 22nd

Falls Prevention Awareness Day

September 22, 2017

This year, the Southern Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition is celebrating Falls Prevention Awareness Day (the first day of fall) by offering free events in Tucson, Oro Valley and Green Valley to educate the community on ways to prevent slips, falls and spills.

Read more here: Marana News

The number of annual deaths in Pima County has risen from 222 in 2010 to 263 in 2016

Pima County report on opioId use shows it's widespread

September 1, 2017

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey declared the opioid epidemic a Public Health State of Emergency in June.

The county report was in response the declaration.

You can read the full report here: Tucson News Now