Mohave County
July 2024
Volume 24 Issue 5

Jul 2024 | Journal, July 2024 | 0 comments

Mohave County Supervisors approve allocation of opioid settlement funds

Journal, July 2024 | 0 comments

July 2024

MOHAVE COUNTY – In a significant move to address the ongoing opioid crisis, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted on June 17, 2024, to approve the allocation of opioid settlement funds to local treatment centers. This decision is part of a broader initiative to combat the opioid epidemic in the region, utilizing funds from a $500 million settlement distributed over 15 years to all 15 counties in Arizona.
The approved funding, originating from settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors accused of contributing to the nationwide opioid epidemic, will support various local programs aimed at addressing opioid addiction. A particular focus has been placed on initiatives within the criminal justice system, recognizing the critical need for intervention and support among incarcerated individuals struggling with opioid use disorders.
One of the key initiatives to be funded is the development of an Inmate Programs unit in the county detention center. This unit will offer 12-step programs and GED attainment opportunities, providing crucial support for incarcerated individuals as they work towards recovery and prepare for successful reintegration into the community.
Attorney General Kris Mayes emphasized the importance of these funds in the state’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact of the opioid epidemic. “This funding is crucial in our fight against the opioid epidemic, particularly in supporting those in our criminal justice system who are battling addiction,” Mayes stated.
The Mohave County Board of Supervisors echoed this sentiment, noting, “Approving these funds to our local treatment centers is a significant step in addressing the opioid crisis in our community.”
The allocation of these funds comes at a critical time for Mohave County, which has been severely impacted by the opioid crisis. In 2016, the county reported the highest rate of opioid prescriptions in Arizona, with 127.5 prescriptions for every 100 residents. This rate was not only the highest in the state but also double the national average, underscoring the urgent need for intervention and support in the region.
The approved funding is part of a larger statewide effort known as the One Arizona Agreement. This framework ensures that settlement funds are distributed effectively across the state, with 56% allocated to local governments for opioid amelioration programs and the remaining 44% directed to a state fund for similar purposes. This structure aims to maximize the impact of the settlement funds by allowing for flexible and transparent use of resources at both the local and state levels.
In addition to supporting the Inmate Programs unit, the allocated funds will also bolster existing initiatives such as the Reach Out Program. This program specifically targets individuals in jail suffering from opioid substance use disorders, aiming to provide critical support and treatment options. Over the course of the grant cycle, the Reach Out Program is expected to help nearly 1,800 incarcerated individuals dealing with opioid addiction.
The funding approved by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors is part of a broader grant shared with neighboring Yavapai and Coconino counties. Together, these three counties received a combined $4.5 million aimed at combating opioid addiction, particularly among individuals involved in the criminal justice system. This collaborative approach reflects a recognition of the regional nature of the opioid crisis and the need for coordinated efforts to address it effectively.
It’s worth noting that this recent allocation of funds follows a February 2021 consumer fraud settlement with McKinsey & Company. This earlier settlement resolved investigations into the consulting firm’s role in exacerbating the opioid crisis through its work with opioid manufacturers. The resolution of this case and the subsequent allocation of funds represent ongoing efforts to hold various entities accountable for their roles in the opioid epidemic while simultaneously working to mitigate its impacts.
The approval of these funds by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors marks a significant milestone in the county’s efforts to address the opioid crisis. By directing resources towards local treatment centers and programs within the criminal justice system, the county is taking a proactive stance in providing support and recovery options for those affected by opioid addiction.
The impact of this funding is expected to be substantial. In addition to the nearly 1,800 incarcerated individuals targeted by the Reach Out Program, it’s estimated that nearly 9,000 people will receive treatment through various programs supported by the Attorney General’s Office grant money. This comprehensive approach, addressing both prevention and rehabilitation, represents a critical step forward in the ongoing battle against opioid addiction in Mohave County and across Arizona.
As these programs are implemented and expanded, they will play a crucial role in helping individuals overcome addiction, reduce recidivism rates, and successfully reintegrate into their communities. The focus on providing support within the criminal justice system acknowledges the complex relationship between substance abuse and incarceration, and seeks to break the cycle by offering meaningful interventions and support.
The approval of these funds by the Mohave County Board of Supervisors represents a pivotal moment in the county’s response to the opioid crisis. As these resources are deployed and programs are implemented, the hope is that they will make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by opioid addiction, ultimately contributing to a healthier, more resilient community.
–Jeremy Webb

Arizona AG joins FTC and coalition of states to challenge merger of Kroger & Albertsons supermarkets

Attorney General Kris Mayes, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and a bipartisan coalition of states, today announced the filing of a lawsuit that challenges the proposed merger of Kroger and Albertsons. These companies are the country’s two largest national supermarket chains, and this merger presents a significant risk of reduced competition and higher food prices nationwide. In Arizona, the two chains are the fourth and sixth largest employers, with a combined 35,000 employees across 250 stores. The companies also operate under Fry’s, Smith’s, and Safeway brands in Arizona.

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