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Arizona to receive a $20 million grant to help fight opioid epidemic

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

PHOENIX — Arizona was awarded a $20 million grant to help fight the opioid epidemic in the state.

The money was the first installment of a two-year program aimed at combating the issue and provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared Sept. 16 through Sept. 22 Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week to highlight the dangers of prescription and non-prescription opiods.

“Arizona has take serious action in the last year to fight against the opioid epidemic in our state,” Ducey said. “We know this fight is far from over and this grant will help more Arizonans receive the support they need.”

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System will administer the funds to multiple partners and agencies across the state with specific initiatives in mind.

The list of primary initiatives for the first installment of funding includes increasing distribution and awareness of overdose reversal medication, expanding access to recovery support services, reducing recidivism for transitioning individuals, expanding support for exposed newborns and pregnant women and increasing medication-assisted treatment in areas that don’t have access.

Agencies expected to receive a portion of the distribution include the Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Department of Corrections, Arizona Department of Child Safety, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency, Pasuca Yaqui Tribe, Mercy Care Plan, Arizona Complete Health, Arizona State University , University of Arizona and others.

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