Avondale approves opioid settlement funding for education, prevention
Mar 14, 2023, 4:25 AM
PHOENIX — The Avondale City Council approved One Arizona Distribution of Opioid Settlement funds for education and prevention.
The funds will help create new initiatives to reduce opioid misuse in Avondale and support existing measures such as public awareness campaigns, educational programming and resources for those affected by addiction.
Funding comes from the 2021 National Opioid Settlement after states and subdivisions sued pharmaceutical distributors for their role in the opioid epidemic.
Avondale has received $161,290 in funding from the settlement.
“We are taking a proactive approach to tackling this issue in our own backyard,” Avondale Public Safety Chief Dale Nannenga said in a press release.
“The city council’s action on March 6 will provide resources to our employees working to reduce opioid addiction in our city. It will also help fund educational programs that will teach residents about the dangers of opioid abuse and how to prevent it.”
Arizona experienced 3,298 verified non-fatal opioid overdose events and 1,847 confirmed deaths in 2022, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Fourteen of such fatalities occurred in Avondale, according to the release.
The city will also expand its Naloxone training program for its staff members this month.
Naloxone, a medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration, can reverse an opioid overdose, and Avondale police personnel have already received administration training.
“We are committed to ensuring our staff members have the resources they need to respond quickly and effectively in any situation,” Nannenga said. “By providing this training, we are taking an important step towards protecting our community and saving lives.”