September 26, 2018
Contact: Erica C. Curry
Phone Number: (602) 664-5609
DEA, AZHIDTA, Governor's Office, MATFORCE host inaugural Arizona Drug Summit: Uniting for Solutions
Agencies discuss drug threats, address treatment initiatives and prevention programs
PHOENIX – The Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family (GOYFF), the DEA, Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, and MATFORCE (a community coalition) hosted the inaugural Arizona Drug Summit: Uniting for Solutions. Over 460 law enforcement professionals, medical experts, and prevention specialists registered to attend the summit, hearing several perspectives regarding drug use and its impact on various segments of society. This two day summit kicked off Monday featuring both federal and state perspectives on the current drug threat in Arizona.
The summit was made possible this year through the partnership with the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. The GOYFF strengthens the health and safety of Arizona's communities through capacity building and collaborative partnerships across the state. As part of their work, the GOYFF oversees the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership, which serves as a Governor appointed, statewide Council on substance abuse prevention, enforcement, treatment and recovery efforts.
"Arizona is making great progress in combating the opioid epidemic. It is imperative that we have a unified effort across all disciplines to address the current drug crisis," stated Maria Cristina Fuentes, director of the Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family. "Today's Drug Summit is a great example of statewide stakeholders working together to protect Arizona communities."
Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman, of DEA’s Phoenix Field Division addressed the current national drug threat, noting that while the nation is continuing to face an opioid crisis, methamphetamine is the primary drug threat in Arizona with seizures totaling over 20,000 pounds to date for fiscal year 2018.
“While the opioid crisis in Arizona has taken too many lives, we cannot overlook the threat of methamphetamine addiction and the incredible surge in methamphetamine seizures in the state,” said Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona. “The DEA is committed to continuing to educate the public about all drugs and the threat they pose the health and safety of the community.”
“The purpose of the Arizona Drug Summit: Uniting for Solutions, is to bring people and organizations together to focus on Arizona’s poly drug crisis from numerous angles,” said Dawn Mertz, Director of the Arizona HIDTA. “If we all work together, we can reduce overdose deaths, substance use disorder, drug trafficking, and prevent our children from using and abusing drugs.”
Sponsoring and supporting agencies include: the DEA, Arizona HIDTA, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the Governor’s Office of Youth Faith and Family, MATFORCE, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona Department of Health Services, Sonoran Prevention Works, Community Medical Services, Arizona Association of County Superintendents, National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association, Arizona Counselors Association, Arizona Sheriff’s Association, Arizona Prosecuting Attorney’s Advisory Council, Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Arizona National Guard and the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police.