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Banner Poison Center raising awareness about opioid epidemic

Fentanyl Awareness Day underscores importance of overdose prevention

PHOENIX (May 7, 2024) – As deaths due to fentanyl and other opioid overdoses continue to rise at alarming rates in Arizona and around the country, the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center is drawing attention to National Fentanyl Awareness Day to raise awareness about the critical issue affecting our communities. Naloxone, the lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug and a key tool in combatting the opioid epidemic, still carries stigma as efforts are made to make it more widely available. 

“Our outreach efforts in communities are focused on stigma reduction around opioid use disorder, as well as providing education and resources for those affected by it,” said Maureen Roland, RN, managing director for the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center. “We want everyone to know about the dangers of illicit fentanyl, and we are also distributing naloxone and fentanyl test strips as part of our harm reduction efforts — we want to normalize naloxone and have it readily available for anyone.”

Fentanyl Awareness Day began three years ago to bring attention to the national crisis as it showed no signs of slowing. According to the CDC, more than 70,000 Americans died from illicit fentanyl overdoses last year. The powerful opioid drug is often found in fake pills and in many different street drugs. The poison center urges all people to play a part in preventing further tragedies from this public health crisis by raising awareness about these dangerous drugs and learning about naloxone.

About Banner Poison and Drug Information Center
The Banner Poison and Drug Information Center is a phone call away and can be reached at 1-800-222-1222. The center provides a free, 24-hour emergency telephone service for both residents and medical professionals of Maricopa County. Assistance is available in more than 150 languages. For more information, visit

About the Arizona Opioid Assistance & Referral (OAR) Line
The OAR Line is funded by ADHS and operated by the two Arizona poison and drug information centers at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in Tucson and at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. The OAR Line provides free, confidential 24/7/365 assistance and advise for all questions and injuries related to opioids and opioid use disorders. The OAR Line can be reached by calling 888-688-4222 or online:


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