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DOJ awards Arizona $3.5 million to fight drug abuse, addiction

In this Oct. 22, 2018 file photo, a fentanyl user holds a needle near Kensington and Cambria in Philadelphia. (David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File)

PHOENIX — The Department of Justice on Monday awarded $3.5 million to fight drug abuse and addiction in Arizona.

The grants were awarded by the department’s Office of Justice programs and are part of over $341 million being dispersed to communities across the U.S., according to a press release.

Those programs include the Bureau of Justice Assistance, National Institute of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The $3.5 million was distributed to the following organizations:

  • Arizona Criminal Justice Commission: $817,487
  • Judiciary Courts of the State of Arizona: $750,000
  • Arizona Youth Partnership: $690,553
  • Gila River Indian Community: $500,000
  • Superior Court in Pima County: $499,524
  • County of Yuma: $262,164

Illegal drugs and illicit drug use have claimed nearly 400,000 American lives since the turn of the century, according to the release.

The country’s overdose rate has risen as powerful synthetic opioids — such as fentanyl — as well as the use of methamphetamines and other psychostimulants continue to rise.

“If we hope to defeat an enemy as powerful, persistent and adaptable as illicit drugs, we must be at least as determined and versatile, focusing our ingenuity and resources on curbing abuse and fighting addiction,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine Sullivan said in the release.

“These grants will enable criminal justice officials and substance abuse, mental health and other medical professionals to pool their assets and bring the full weight of our public safety and treatment systems down on this epidemic that has already caused so much harm.”

A nationwide list of the individual grant programs, award amounts and jurisdictions that will receive funding can be found online.

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