Attorney General Ford Announces First Meeting of COSSAP Grant Partners and Subaward Sites to Discuss Project Rollout

Aug. 31, 2022

 The grant, awarded by the Department of Justice, will provide resources to rural and frontier counties in Nevada

    Carson City, NV – Today, on International Overdose Awareness Day, the Office of the Attorney General, along with other partnered organizations and agencies, will meet for the first time to discuss the use of the $5.75 million Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Site-Based Program (COSSAP) grant announced earlier this year.  

    “This grant is extremely important to send the necessary aid to our state’s rural and frontier counties,” said AG Ford. “The opioid epidemic does not stop at county lines, and Nevadans must stand together to combat this problem and lift up those who have been impacted by it. This money will do real things for real people.”

      The grant funding, by the federal Department of Justice, will be used in seven sites Carson City, Churchill County, Douglas County, Lincoln County, Lyon County, Nye County and Storey County to address the drug problem in Nevada through Mobile Outreach Safety Teams (MOST) or Forensic Assessment Services Triage Teams (FASTT). MOST serves as a jail and hospital diversion program, while FASTT provides assessment and case management for high-risk individuals and those with mental health and other disorders. 

      The money will also go toward providing naloxone to law enforcement and other first responders around the state, as well toward drug take-back days to tackle drug and related mental health crisis situations.

        The grant is a collaboration between the Nevada Office of the Attorney General, the state Department of Health and Human Services, the Northern Regional Behavioral Health Coordinator and seven subaward sites. The subaward sites and their county locations are as follows:

        • Partnership Carson City (Carson City);
        • Churchill Community Coalition (Churchill County); 
        • Partnership Douglas County (Douglas County); 
        • Healthy Communities Coalition (Lyon County); 
        • Community Chest, Inc. (Storey County); and 
        • Nye Community Coalition (Nye and Lincoln Counties). 

          According to the state Department of Health and Human Services Office of Analytics, Nevada saw 484 overdose deaths in 2020, higher than the previous peak of 460 overdose deaths in 2011. The largest increase in overdose deaths was attributed to synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl — at 246 of the 484 overdose deaths. The National Drug Hotline placed 28 states, including Nevada, on red alert during the COVID-19 pandemic due to increased calls into their hotline from residents of the states.

            Opioids are not the only drug issue plaguing Nevada. According to Nevada’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s (HIDTA) 2019 threat assessment, methamphetamine use is the number one drug problem in the Silver State.A 2020 HIDTA bulletin advised that “while methamphetamine continues to be a top drug threat to users in Nevada, fentanyl related overdoses are significantly increasing at an alarming rate.”

            The same HIDTA bulletin reported out of 768 total overdoses in Clark County in 2020, there was a 30% increase from 2019. There were 219 fentanyl related overdoses a 196% increase from data reported in 2019. In looking at overdoses solely involving fentanyl intoxication, Clark County saw a 254% increase between 2019 (26) and 2020 (92) data. Washoe County had 203 overdoses in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019 data, and saw a 12 % increase in fentanyl related overdoses between 2019 (23) and 2020 (52).