SPW in the news

For media inquiries, contact us at info@spwaz.org

“In 2018, Sonoran Prevention Works was fortunate to receive a $137,763 expansion grant from Mobilize AZ. Through the Mobilize AZ initiate, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is investing $10 million over three years to turn the tide against opioid misuse. The grant will allow us to support and expand outreach in Yuma, Phoenix, Tucson, Kingman, Flagstaff, Holbrook, Prescott, Payson, Globe, Sierra Vista, and on the Navajo Nation. “

Reducing opioid deaths through harm reduction

Yuma Sun
‘“We have a lot of people who are at risk for an overdose, a lot of family members who have someone they love that are at risk for an overdose,’ Yamaguchi said. ‘Just getting these tools into the community where they’re needed, it’s going to help save lives.’”

Identifying, reversing an opioid overdose

Kingman Daily Miner
"An Arizona legislative panel on Wednesday kept alive a proposed law that would help people struggling with drug addiction by decriminalizing needle exchanges."

Arizona one step closer to legalizing needle exchanges for people who inject drugs

AZ Central
"...there are 30 years of solid public-health research documenting that SSPs are cost-effective, lead to reduced syringe sharing, disease and adverse health outcomes among program participants, and do not facilitate increase drug use or increases of discarded syringes . The evidence is overwhelming and conclusive."

Beth Meyerson: Syringe service programming is good public health policy

"Fentanyl test strips can detect the presence of the deadly drug in other drugs, such as OxyContin. But the strips could be considered drug paraphernalia under Arizona law."

Arizona law restricts tests for fentanyl

Cronkite News
"Yamaguchi heads up the Kingman Harm Reduction Program which provides free, anonymous, non-judgmental syringe exchange, naloxone (Narcan), and harm reduction supplies."

Kingman Harm Reduction Program

Rotary Club of Kingman Route 66
“I want this stuff to be talked about, because it’s important and it’s happening,” Hawk said. “I hope we get better, I hope UA gets better at talking about this stuff.”

Student organizes overdose-prevention training to increase access to lifesaving techniques

The Daily Wildcat
“‘I don't believe Noah wanted to die,’ his mother, Ingrid Gold, said. ‘He struggled his whole life with anxiety and depression and turned to drugs to kill his pain. In the end, they killed him.’”

Remembering Noah, and others like him: ‘Maybe then someone else won’t have to have this tragedy’

AZ Central
“We’ve had a lot of death in the past few years in Prescott — especially most recently — due to drug overdoses,” said Turiya Coll, Northern Arizona Overdose Prevention Coordinator at Sonoran Prevention Works. “We really want to grieve as a community. Just take a breath; take a pause.”

Candlelight vigil to honor loved ones lost to drug-related deaths set for Dec. 12

The Daily Courier
"'We are the largest naloxone distributors in the state, and most places that distribute naloxone are distributing it through us,' said Turiya Coll, Northern Arizona Overdose Prevention Coordinator."

5 key takeaways from forum on overdose epidemic

The Daily Courier
"The Sonoran Prevention Works Kingman Harm Reduction office has free Naloxone clean needles and information on what street drugs contain fentanyl."

Kingman Harm Reduction Offers FREE Naloxone Here’s How Make a Rugged Naloxone Kit

Pain Crisis in America
“‘We have been receiving positive reports all over the state in all kinds of drugs,’ Haley Coles, director of the nonprofit Sonoran Prevention Works, said. Coles said this includes ‘black tar heroin, China white heroin, cocaine and meth.’”

Reports Of Fentanyl Found In All Kinds Of Drugs In Arizona

"Sonoran Prevention Works has distributed more than 100,000 naloxone doses since last January."

Arizona Group Distributes 100,000 Doses Of Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug

"Really what concerns me, and what concerns my organization, is making sure people don’t die,” said Haley Coles of Sonoran Prevention Works."

Local organization passing out Narcan kits to anyone interested

12 News
“There were 1,497 overdose deaths in Arizona in 2016, of those, 790 were opioid-related. It's not just opioids, death and illness from all drugs are increasing. From my perspective, the crisis isn't necessarily about drug use, it's about the negative and mostly preventable impacts of unsafe drug use.” - Haley Coles.

Naloxone 101

Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, Arizona State University
"With unanimous, bipartisan support — and surprisingly little floor debate — a bill that would legalize needle-exchange programs passed out of the Arizona House of Representatives on Thursday. "

Arizona needle-exchange bill passes House with unanimous, bipartisan support

AZ Central
"This grant will support SPW’s advocacy work to promote the decriminalization of syringe access programs, a desperately needed solution to high rates of death, illness, and suffering among people who inject drugs."

PRESS RELEASE – Sonoran Prevention Works receives two-year grant from AIDS United’s Syringe Access Fund.

Sonoran Prevention Works
The grant will be used for the Shot in the Dark outreach project; which is a unique vehicle to deliver street-based HIV prevention for people who use drugs.

PRESS RELEASE – Sonoran Prevention Works receives $3,000 from the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation in partnership with Macy’s

Sonoran Prevention Works
Needle exchanges are often controversial, and some opponents, like Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, feel that the approach sends the wrong message. In an interview with KJZZ, Montgomery likened syringe-access programs to "a free-case-of-beer-a-month program for alcoholics." But, as Coles points out, "Withholding [clean syringes] doesn’t prevent them from using drugs. It just puts them at risk of contracting hepatitis and HIV, in addition to other preventable illnesses."

Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Legalize Needle Exchanges In Arizona

Phoenix New Times
“It’s not as simple as saying don’t do drugs, if that worked I wouldn’t be here,” Cope said. “What we are asking specifically Arizona to do is catch up to the rest of the country in how we treat people who use drugs. There have been decades of wonderful research showing what really works, but we continue to bang our head against the door and do the same thing. It’s not working.”

County attorney hosts opioid overdose prevention training

Arizona City Independent
Coles said NCSO has been partnering with them to save lives affected by opioid abuse since last month. But in June, they used Naloxone supplied by SPW for the first time to save the life of an overdose victim.

Police train in saving lives of opioid overdose

White Mountain Independent
Since September 2016, SPW has dispensed 15,142 free naloxone kits and had 1,420 reported uses of the medication to revive and overdose victim.

Community training to prevent opioid overdose set for Dec 2

The Daily Courier
"We've distributed over 17,000 kits this year and have had over 1,500 reported reversals so we know getting it out into the community works," Cope said.

Community Members Gather for Opioid Overdose Training

Tucson News
Cope said harm reduction recognizes that it’s not realistic to expect drug users to quit cold turkey. In fact, most people relapse many times.

Turnout for naloxone training shows concern for opioid ODs

Nogales International
The Arizona nonprofit Sonoran Prevention Works will be hosting a free community opiate overdose prevention training

Community Brief: Free opiate prevention training offered

Arizona Daily Sun
“Especially in the more rural areas of the county and the state, it’s law enforcement that’s showing up before the paramedics, so we want to equip them to be able to save that life,” said Haley Coles, Sonoran Prevention Works Executive Director. “Giving a person a chance at surviving is really important because you can’t get sober if you’re dead."

Maricopa County works to combat opioid epidemic

Maricopa County AZ
Currently, he said, pharmacies have a “standing order” for Naloxone which can now be purchased over the counter. For those who don’t have insurance and cannot afford the $30-$65 cost, he said, an organization he works with called Sonoran Prevention Works will deliver Naloxone, and teach how to properly administer the drug, free of charge.

Opioid addiction spotlighted in police presentation

In Maricopa
A volunteer with Sonoran Prevention Works talks about the dangers of sharing syringes.

Volunteer Describes Dangers of Sharing Syringes

Throughout 2017, non-profit organizations such as Sonoran Prevention Works and the Harm Reduction Coalition have begun putting together Naloxone kits, consisting of doses of the medication as well as gloves, alcohol pads, and other items necessary for safe administration to give out to individuals or organizations who are in frequent contact with addicted individuals.

Naloxone continuously more available in Arizona

Archways Recovery Centers
Claire McLoone, a social worker and instructor at Arizona State University School of Social Work, states that “The high number of overdose reversals by Sonoran Prevention Works is hugely impressive, but the relationships built through distributing naloxone to people who need it most is also a vital part of the impact they have on the community. SPW has a unique expertise in the practice of harm reduction, which Arizona desperately needs. It’s the only agency providing this crucial care to prevent tragedy for countless families.”

Nonprofit offering overdose training in Kingman

Kingman Daily Miner
Coles emphasized that use of naloxone fits into the harm-reduction model, which differs from a strictly prevention-based approach to the opioid epidemic. Naloxone can save people’s lives, but not necessarily stop them from using drugs.

Access to Overdose Drug Slow but Growing

Cronkite News
Haley Coles, executive director for Sonoran Prevention Works, said her Phoenix organization has worked to fill in some of the gaps by offering workshops and training for harm reduction. Although her group is collaborating with the state, she said she sees funding needs in the community.

Fighting opioid abuse in Arizona

Verde Independent
Since then she has worked on reforming policy, conducting overdose prevention training and advocating the importance of understanding the origins of the addiction.

Compassion for understanding drug dependency

Rise Phoenix, Inner Monologue Podcast
"Injection drug use is an issue that is a community issue. It affects all of us whether we realize it or not, and it's an issue that has community solutions," Thoi said.

Volunteer clean up drug paraphernalia in Phoenix neighborhood

AZ Family
Coles says: “Engagement with people who use drugs is the key to providing life-saving education and resources. When we let people know their lives are valuable by having naloxone around, we increase their chances at making positive changes and seeking help.”

HB2355, The Naloxone Bill has passed

Arizona Opioid Treatment Coalition
In this episode, [Haley] explains what harm reduction is and why we need to be concerned about harm reduction.

Harm reduction, why needle exchange programs are needed, and more…

Addiction Support Podcast
“Overdose doesn’t have to happen,” she said, “And it wouldn’t happen so often if people who use drugs are educated.”

CDC: Heroin overdose deaths rose significantly nationally from 2010:2013

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