The Prescott Valley Police Department (PVPD) wants everyone to know that Fentanyl and Meth are still actively being used in our community. From October 2019 thru March 2020, there were twenty-five overdose calls from heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, Xanex, and methamphetamine within our Town. Ten resulted in deaths. 

During this same time period PVPD Officers administered NARCAN (naloxone HCl) on eight separate occasions. (The appropriate use of NARCAN® may temporarily reverse the effects of a known or suspected opioid overdose.) Several of the patients where NARCAN was administered safely recovered.

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PVPD and our law enforcement partners county-wide aggressively purse offenders who fuel this problem. Since January 2020, Partners Against Narcotic Traffic Task Force (PANT) has either led or assisted in approximately fourteen cases regarding overdose investigations involving Fentanyl and has seized over 260 mimic pills containing Fentanyl.  These investigations have led to approximately one dozen arrests and the identification of several individuals suspected in the illegal sale of drugs.  These investigations are ongoing.

The Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office has provided the following statistics from death by overdoses in Yavapai County: 2017 – 49; 2018 – 57; 2019 – 88. Thus far in 2020 there have been 18 deaths by overdose throughout Yavapai County.

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The pandemic may intensify the problems that lead to drug addiction and overdose. On top of life’s everyday stressors, we now have isolation, people losing jobs, stress of children not in school, difficulty accessing and paying for necessities, and so many other challenges that are very real – challenges that put us in a state of shock, panic, and crisis.  Using drugs is not the solution.

The Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) in Prescott Valley is open 24/7 to ANYONE that is in crisis (928-445-5211) or anyone experiencing a sense of hopelessness, fear, depression, anxiety, and other feelings that are making it difficult to get through each day.  The CSU will connect you with community resources, offer support and a plan for you and your family to get through this difficult time. Another resource for the public for mental health and substance use issues is the Health Choice Helpline – 1-800-322-8670 (TTY 711).

Friends, family members and parents need to remain actively involved in the lives of those around you, as to who they hang out with, or who’s on their cell phones. It’s tragic for friends, family members or parents to discover someone when it’s too late to help him or her. 

You might ask: “How do I recognize a drug problem?” Here are possible warning signs.

Physically: Is there a change from normal capabilities, fatigue, repeated health complaints, poor physical appearance including inattention to dress and personal hygiene, red and glazed eyes, a lasting cough, wearing sunglasses at inappropriate times to hide dilated or constricted pupils?

Emotionally: Is there personality change, sudden mood changes, low self-esteem, irritability, irresponsible behavior, poor judgment, depression, and general lack of interest?

Family: Is there frequent arguments, breaking rules, and withdrawing from the family?

School or Work: Is there decreased interest, negative attitude, and changes in attendance or level of effort?

Social Problems: Are there new anti-social friends, stealing items which can be readily sold for cash (to support drug habit), withdrawal from lifelong friends, and association with known drug users?

If any of these warning signs are evident in a friend or a family member, seek help immediately. There are many resources available in order to prevent our First Responders from responding in an emergency.

Information provided by Prescott Valley Police Records Unit, Central Arizona Fire & Medical Authority, Partners Against Narcotic Traffic Task Force (PANT), Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office, and West Yavapai Guidance Clinic.

Prescott Valley Police Department can be contacted at (928) 772-9267 for non-emergencies, 911 for emergencies. You may also contact Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232.

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