Arizona community receives grant to tackle opioid epidemic

Arizona community receives grant to tackle opioid epidemic

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A southern Arizona community is receiving a large gr ant to help tackle drug and opioid issues across the region.

Cochise County was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to tackle the issue.

"Two people in Arizona die a day, because of opioids," said Carrie Langley, Director for Cochise Health and Social Services.

Langley said a large part of the problem is doctors over-prescribing and the grant will be used educate and train.

"We'll be partnering with providers in the community to understand databases that are available and how to utilize those so they can see where their patients are accessing medications," Langley said.

Carmen Arnold was just 12 years old when she got hooked on drugs like meth and speed pills.

"Every morning from the time I woke up until I went to bed  I was doing the drugs – it was a lot," Arnold said. "At one point it was really, really tough. I became homeless because your friends give up on you. I hid it from my family. I didn't reach out for help."

Arnold said help is exactly what drug users need to beat their addiction.

Langley said the Health Department plans to raise awareness about the electronic reporting system, which tells doctors if a patient has already been prescribed drugs elsewhere.

Arnold, who has been sober for 16 years, is hoping the gr ant will be the answer to clearing up substance abuse in the community.

"One person, if you help just one person, that's how you get started," she said.

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