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Arizona Attorney General’s Office issues $400,000 to fight opioid abuse

A display representing a medicine cabinet informs visitors to a memorial by the National Safety Council with data about opioids, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Attorney General’s Office issued $400,000 in grants to community organizations throughout the state to fight opioid abuse.

The two-year grant program is expected to help educate more than 13,000 students in middle school and above about the dangers of opioid addiction.

“We think that this will impact hundreds of parents … (and) thousands of students, as well as coaches, curriculum coordinators,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

“And so this is our effort to try to educate the community, not just here in Phoenix but throughout the state.”

Grants went to three organizations in different counties: Chicanos Por La Causa (Pima County) received $133,411, Intermountain Centers (Pinal) received $160,990, and MATFORCE (Yavapai) received $104,030.

There were 17 organizations that applied for the funding, which came from a settlement with a pharmaceutical company over prescription drug marketing.

Brnovich said education is a key component to fighting the opioid crisis.

“By the time these cases get to the attorney general’s office, frankly it’s too late,” Brnovich said.

“As prosecutors, we can prosecute people for breaking the law, but as a community, as a state, we need to do more on the front end to educate and prevent people from becoming involved with opioids in the first place.”

Brnovich said the grants are part of an ongoing effort to combat the problem.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

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