Feds give Arizona millions to combat opioid epidemic

Arizona has been awarded $24.3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to combat opiate use disorder.

The problem has taken an significant toll on the state, said Shana Malone, who works with Arizona’s Medicaid Program, known as AHCCCS.

“It’s taxing our healthcare system, our law enforcement system, it’s certainly devastating our families and most importantly it’s taking way too many lives,” Malone said.

AHCCCS will administer the grant, which is meant tackle the epidemic by both providing drug treatment services to people with opioid use disorder and reduce the number of opioid-related deaths over the next two years.

“A large amount of the funding will revolve around projects and activities that help navigate individuals to opiate use disorder treatment and certainly align them with the recovery support that they’ll need to be successful,” Malone said.

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By Vanessa Barchfield / NPR / April 28, 2017