Rx Abuse Prevention Program

The Gila County Rx Abuse Prevention Program is the newest program to the Gila County Public Health Department. In partnership with Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), this program will be equipped to develop, implement and assess relevant and proven strategies to halt, reverse and diminish the opioid crisis in Gila County.

Opioid Background
Opioids include several prescription pain medications and illicit substances like heroin, which are highly addictive (see Prescription Drug section below). It is important to balance the appropriate treatment of pain with safe prescribing practices and at-home use of prescribed medications. Safe prescribing and use of opioids can improve patient safety, reduce harm, and prevent unintended consequences. Most opioid users never intend on getting hooked when they start taking the powerful medication. We must come together as a community to help turn the tide on opioid misuse.

Below are programs or projects that the Rx Abuse Prevention Program
offers throughout Gila County:

Community Naloxone Distribution Project
We are very proud to be the first County in the State of Arizona to offer Naloxone Rescue Kits. This program is offered for FREE - and is annoynomous- in Globe and Payson to anyone concerned about opioid drug overdoses through the Gila County Public Health Department and Sonoran Prevention Works. We have two public distribution points at the health department offices located in Globe and Payson.  

This program offers education on the efficacy of this medication, signs of an opioid overdose and administration of Naloxone in the event of an overdose. Through Arizona legislation that was passed in 2015 and 2016, this medication is now available without a prescription.

For further information on this medication and legislation, please visit  the Sonoran Prevention Works website.


What is Naloxone?
Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications. For more information please visit the National Institue on Drug Abuse website.

Public Medication Disposal

Medication disposal boxes are located in Globe, Miami, Hayden and Payson at local police departments.  Most of these boxes are available 24 hours a day. This program is free and completely anonymous and is very simple. Medication can be left in the original containers or emptied into a bag. For your security you may want to tear off the label or mark through your personal information.  These collection sites ACCEPT pills (over the counter and prescription), patches and ointments.  These collection sites DO NOT ACCEPT sharps (needles, lancets, etc.), thermometers, liquids, aerosol cans or inhalers.

For further information on these boxes, please contact your local police department.

DEA National Prescription Take Back Days
The Drug Enforcement Administration teams up with local law enforcement to give the public opportunities to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  The public is encouraged to bring their pills for disposal to determined sites for disposal.   (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. 

To find a find out when the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is - or to locate a collection site, please visit the Diversion Control Division at the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration website.

Personal Sharps Disposal
The Gila County Public Health Department promotes safe storage and disposal of used sharps, such as needles and/or lancets.

In order for the health department to accept these items, sharps MUST be in an approved sharps container that is puncture resistant and has a locking lid (no milk jugs or bleach bottles). Approved containers are available at any pharmacy.


For communtiy members with insurance, please consult your physician about possible insurance coverage of sharps containers.

If you cannot afford or unable to locate an appoved container, please contact the Gila County Public Health Department. Occasionally, sharps containers are donated and may be available at the Globe and Payson health department.

Additional Resources
Rx Drug Drop-Off Locations in Arizona - This is a GIS interactive map offered through ADHS to help you find a drop-off location for prescription drugs no longer used.
ADHS Opioid Action Plan - Opioid Overdose Epidemic Response Report, September 2017.
Opioid Epidemic Data (Statewide) - ADHS is tracking opioid epidemic data (e.g., suspect deaths, suspect overdoses).
Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and FamilyThis website allows anyone to identify substance abuse providers in Arizona that offers prevention programs, substance abuse treatment and recovery options such as AA, AL-ANON, etc.

Paula Horn, Deputy Director
5515 S. Apache Ave., Ste 100 Globe, AZ 85501
PH:  (928) 402-8868 | Email: gcdhem@gilacountyaz.gov