Tele-town hall follows a roundtable Sinema hosted with Arizona first responders, health care providers, and local partners discussing community-wide solutions to fentanyl
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema held a tele-town hall with nearly 5,000 everyday Arizonans to discuss saving lives by cracking down on fentanyl trafficking into Arizona and strengthening access to treatment and recovery programs for Arizonans.
The Senator was joined by Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell and Eric Lee with Solari Crisis and Human Services to answer Arizonans’ questions. The tele-town hall follows a roundtable Sinema hosted with Arizonans on the frontlines of the ongoing fentanyl crisis to hear community concerns and discuss lasting solutions.
“Input from Arizonans fuels my work in Congress, and as I travel our state meeting with families, veterans, health professionals, law enforcement and first responders, I hear about the suffering the fentanyl and drug abuse crisis has caused in our communities. That’s why I’m helping to lead efforts to strengthen our nation’s response to the opioid crisis,” 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. More than half of all the fentanyl seized in the entire United States is seized in Arizona.
Sinema spoke directly with Arizonans about the challenges they face as a result of fentanyl’s prevalence in their communities. The Senator discussed how she is working with Arizonans on the frontlines of the crisis 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.
During the tele-town hall, Sinema 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.