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Opioid treatment money headed for southern Arizona

Cochise County's Chiricahua Community Health Center will get opioid addiction treatment funding through a new $3 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The money comes from the agency's Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, an initiative that opened in 2020 to direct funds to rural communities around the U.S. to set up addiction recovery programs. 

Southern Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva says funds will be allotted over the course of three years. The money will be used to help set up medication assisted treatment programs and allow the center to hire and train behavioral health technicians. It will also go toward setting up community health screenings and funding peer support specialists.

The health center is also getting a $300,000 from the agency to bulk up its overdose response systems.

Cochise is a sprawling, largely rural county that saw a 65% increase in overdose deaths between 2021 and 2022. It was the largest increase statewide.

 

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.