Sinema Discusses Solutions to Arizona’s Fentanyl Crisis with First Responders, Health Agencies, and Community Partners

Jul 18, 2023

Senator highlighted steps she’s taking – including introducing and backing multiple bipartisan bills – to crack down on the illegal flow of fentanyl across Arizona’s border

PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema held a roundtable discussion with Arizonans on the frontline of the ongoing fentanyl crisis to hear community-led concerns and discuss lasting solutions that save lives by cracking down on fentanyl trafficking into Arizona and strengthening access to treatment and recovery programs for Arizonans. 
“To begin to address our country’s fentanyl crisis, we must first stop the flow of drugs over the border and into Arizona. Together– with first responders, health organizations, and community partners – we remain laser focused on solutions to prevent, treat, and reduce substance use disorders in Arizona,” said Sinema.
In Arizona, more than five people die every day from opioid overdose, with fentanyl ranking as the most commonly reported drug in overdose cases. In 2022, over 100,000 people in the U.S. died of drug overdoses and drug poisonings, with almost 67% of those deaths involving fentanyl.
The roundtable discussion included community stakeholders on the frontlines of the fentanyl crisis in Arizona – including representatives from Terros Health, the Mesa Police Department, the Phoenix Fire Department, Recovery Cafe Arizona, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the Maricopa County Department of Health, and more.
During the meeting, participants told Sinema about the challenges they face as a result of fentanyl’s prevalence in Arizona communities. The Senator discussed ways that all participating entities can work together to strengthen the state’s response to the illegal flow of the drug across Arizona’s border and into the country, and the impact this has on individuals suffering from addiction.
Sinema additionally highlighted bipartisan bills she’s introducing and supporting that would reduce the amount of fentanyl coming into Arizona – including the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, which targets the profit cartels make through drug trafficking, and the Combating Cartels on Social Media Act, which cracks down on cartels that recruit and exploit young Arizonans to smuggle drugs across the border. Both of Sinema’s bills cleared their respective committees and are moving forward with broad bipartisan support