The statewide effort to reduce the misuse of opioids, other substances and overdose-related deaths recently received a $10 million boost thanks to a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Gov. Doug Ducey.
That funding will launch Mobilize AZ, a multi-faceted program which includes more than a dozen strategies tailored to specific patients, doctors and the general community. Mobilize AZ includes a grant program that will award a minimum of $1 million each year for three years to community organizations involved in education, treatment and recovery.
“Opioid misuse continues to take a devastating toll in Arizona,” said Gov. Ducey. “While we have already made an incredible amount of progress to address this issue, more must be done. This $10 million investment demonstrates Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona’s continued commitment to public health and will further support the state’s efforts in the fight against the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder.”
According to a joint press release from the Governor’s Office and BCBSAZ, the $10 million investment over three years will support prevention, treatment and recovery programs to help providers, the community, and local organizations fight against the opioid epidemic.
Grant applications are now open and will be accepted on an ongoing basis through a formal request-for-proposal process. Additionally, BCBSAZ will focus on expanding treatment resources and filling gaps through medication-assisted treatment, telehealth and 24-hour triage to create a gateway to help for those in need.
In the state of Arizona there were more than 8,500 suspected opioid overdoses and more than 1,500 suspected opioid deaths in the past year.
“The opioid epidemic is one of the most significant public health and safety issues the state has faced in generations,” said Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of BCBSAZ. “Our vision is to bring together medical professionals, insurers, government, and the community to turn the tide against substance misuse, while showing compassion for those struggling with addiction and protecting those suffering from chronic pain. Now is our time to act, and together we can heal and protect Arizona.”
For more information and to join BCBSAZ in the fight against opioid misuse and substance use disorder, visit MobilizeAZ.com.