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Arizona Receives Grant To Fight Opioid Crisis

Arizona is getting some help from the federal government with the opioid crisis.

A $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be divvied up evenly between 20 health centers across the state.

The funding will help these providers expand substance abuse and mental health services.

Specifically, it will focus on preventing and treating opioid abuse in the primary care setting. Nationally, more than half of all care for mental health conditions takes place in that context, according to the department.

Federally qualified health centers typically service people who are low income and otherwise don’t have easy access to care.

Two people die every day on average in Arizona from opioid related overdoses. The state hopes to reduce those deaths by 25 percent in the next five years.

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.