Maricopa County will invest approximately $2 million of its opioid settlement dollars in 12 local organizations doing important work to expand youth prevention and treatment; add recovery programs; bolster harm reduction programs; and enhance processes for smoothly transferring a person from one service to another.
“Sadly, this epidemic impacts more and more families every day,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4. “With this investment, we will support those agencies working on the front lines, helping residents find the resources they need while also supporting agencies working to prevent our youth from ever starting down the road of addiction.”
To date, Maricopa County has received $12.5M of its share of the distributor and Janssen opioid settlements and the Mallinckrodt bankruptcy. Maricopa County cities and towns have received $11.8M. When these two settlements are paid in full in 2038, Maricopa County will have received about $67.7M and its cities and towns, $63.7M.
In addition to its investment in community-based organizations, Maricopa County has also invested $1.5M with opioid settlement funds towards the expansion of a medication-assisted treatment program in Maricopa County jails. This program now allows many of those entering the jails the opportunity to begin an opioid treatment regimen that can be continued upon exiting the jail.
“Correctional Health Services (CHS) has brought on two Addiction Medicine specialist physicians and five addiction advanced practice providers since February to service all Maricopa County Jail facilities,” said Dr. David Crutchfield, CHS Medical Director. “We now have over 400 patients enrolled in our Opioid Treatment Program. We continue to expand the program daily in partnership with our Mental Health Community Transition team and clinic navigators.”
Opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 people in Maricopa County have gone up significantly since 2012, from 5.2 to 28.8 per 100K in 2021. During that same timeframe, overdose death rates involving synthetic opioids (e.g., fentanyl) increased more than 6000%, from 2.4 to 25.9 per 100k. In both 2020 and 2021, about 91% of drug overdose deaths among those ages 15-24 involved synthetic opioids.
Public Health is serving as the lead agency for Maricopa County funds and is currently developing a framework for a countywide substance use prevention and response plan that will be used to help identify strategic priorities and investments needed to achieve desired outcomes. It will use state and county substance use data, as well as input from residents and subject matter experts, to inform recommendations on strategies and spending priorities. The plan will be released this fall.
Settlement funds must be spent in accordance with approved, nationally recognized strategies to address the opioid epidemic. Approved uses include expenses related to the treatment of opioid use disorder, support for people in treatment and recovery, support for people who have or are at risk of developing opioid use disorder, and prevention of overuse and misuse of opioids. More can be found at One Arizona Distribution of Opioid Settlement Funds Agreement.
Information about current substance use initiatives, overdose data, and updates about the settlement can be found at maricopa.gov/SubstanceUse.
The following 12 organizations received funding:
Funding Amount for FY 24
Banner Health Foundation
Adding an adolescent outpatient chemical dependency program for youth ages 13-17 to its West Valley location that will integrate recovery, peer support services and a supportive family component. Banner also will provide system-wide training & education to its health care teams within its urgent, emergency, and acute care settings to raise health care professionals’ awareness of the services available through Banner Behavioral Health and understand how to refer children and youth for services.
Banner Poison and Drug Information Center
Expand training and education to providers, first responders and the community on substance use disorders, overdose prevention, and naloxone administration. Evidence-based stigma reduction outreach campaigns will focus on healthcare providers, police, first responders, and other public service populations that have a higher affinity to interacting and assisting people with substance use disorder. Regional areas of focus for the first program year include Mesa, Phoenix metro, Buckeye, Glendale, and Peoria.
Chicanos por la Causa
Expand school and community-based prevention, education and outreach programs and opportunities to develop positive social and community connections for both youth and their parents/caregivers in the South Mountain and Guadalupe service area. Programming will include active parenting workshops to increase parent/caregiver knowledge about how to communicate with youth/teens to discourage and prevent substance misuse, including opioids.
Expansion of School-Based Services with school districts in Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert to provide prevention, treatment, and support resources to youth, family members, and those who work with youth. Prevention topics include the dangers of fentanyl and other drug trends, including marijuana, alcohol, and vaping. Naloxone training includes overdose prevention education, how to administer different types of naloxone, and the Arizona Good Samaritan law.
Community Medical Services
Adding capacity to existing criminal justice liaison program in Maricopa County to establish a credentialed harm reduction and naloxone administration training program for public safety and first responders and to initiate a community-based public safety task force to begin development of a deflection framework for Maricopa County. The goal of deflection programs is to lessen the burden on the criminal justice system by connecting individuals who meet certain criteria—before they enter the criminal justice system—to treatment and social services to which they might not otherwise have access.
Live and Learn Arizona
Increase the number of clients served through its Women Building Resiliency program aimed at helping low-income women with a substance use disorder engage in a structured pathway to maintain sobriety, develop economic self-sufficiency, and achieve long-term, sustainable stability. To increase accessibility to clients with transportation barriers, services are provided virtually and in person at convenient locations throughout Maricopa County.
Expand school- and community-based substance use prevention and awareness programming (English and Spanish) in the inner-city Phoenix area for adolescents, teens, and parents, including teen life skills trainings, harm reduction education, and active parenting classes to increase protective factors and build resiliency.
Expanding its full continuum of care services to prevent substance/opioid use disorder and increase recovery support for youth and families through school- and community-based outreach and programming in Central, Northwest and Southeast areas of Maricopa County. Through a collaboration with the national best practice organization Partnership to End Addiction, notMYkid also will offer enhanced prevention education and training to parents, school staff and providers.
Rise Up! Glendale
Increase capacity and expand outreach efforts with schools, youth-serving organizations, faith-based community, and law enforcement to reduce risk factors such as early substance use through risk education and information outreach to youth and families in the Glendale community.
Shot in the Dark
Increase distribution of safe use drug supplies such as fentanyl test strips and educational materials to reduce incidents of overdoses in Maricopa County
Skye’s the Limit! Foundation
Expand trauma-informed substance use prevention education, life skills trainings, harm reduction, and positive alternative therapeutic art and wilderness activities for youth to increase protective factors and build resiliency. Program participants will be primarily recruited through existing partnerships with Maricopa County Superior Court Juvenile Probation Department - Juvenile Community Offender Restitution and Public Service (JCORPS), the Youth Development Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, and Mesa Public Schools.
Expand naloxone education, training and distribution services to sectors of the East Valley community who have the highest need, based on opioid use and overdose. To ensure care connections are made available at education events, Terros will refer individuals to services with community-based partners and to other Terros Health in-house sites and programs including Café Stapley, school-based programs, Mobile Integrated Health Unit, and HIV/STI Programs, based on need.