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Tucson, Pima County leaders vote to merge efforts to address opioids

Tucson City Council members and Pima County leaders have voted to combine efforts to combat opioid addiction and deaths.

County and city leaders voted unanimously this week to enact a five-year intergovernmental agreement that will allow them to pool resources from the opioid settlement fund and work collaboratively on programming.

Local health officials say Pima County has seen an average of 500 overdose deaths every year for the past three years, and more than half were fentanyl-related. In 2021, the county signed up to receive some of the funds part of the state’s opioid settlement agreement and are set to get more than $100 million over 18 years.

Under the new agreement, city and county officials will use those funds to set up programming around opioid addiction care, overdose response, community engagement and medication assisted treatment.

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Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.Prior to joining KJZZ, she covered border and immigration at Arizona Public Media, where she was awarded a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her coverage of Indigenous-led protests against border wall construction.Reznick started her career working in bilingual newsrooms and as a freelance journalist in Amman, Jordan. Her reporting on migration, refugees and human rights has appeared on PRX’s The World, Al Jazeera and Nova PBS, among others. As a recipient of the International Labour Organization's FAIRWAY Reporting Fellowship, she spent six months reporting on labor migration issues across Arab States.Originally from Flagstaff, she likes climbing, being outdoors and Pluto.