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Travis County DA's Office forms plan to address overdose deaths

On Saturday, Dec. 4, the DA's office will partner with the Red River Cultural District and the SIMS Foundation for a free multi-venue event.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Travis County District Attorney's Office is partnering with local organizations to support addiction recovery services and help prevent overdose deaths.

According to a report from the Texas Harm Reduction Alliance, more than 260 people died in Travis County from drug-related causes in 2020 – a 36% increase from 2019.

The DA's office is working on three strategies to reduce the number of overdose-related deaths in the area. The strategies involve raising awareness, providing life-saving drugs and training to vulnerable communities and ensuring that appropriate resources are available to support community-based response.

"It is the responsibility of the district attorney to prevent harm in our community before it happens," DA José Garza said in a statement. "I am grateful to all of our partners for committing to harm prevention in our community and for working to address the stigma facing people suffering from substance use disorder. We know that we must treat substance use disorder and overdoses in our community as a public health issue, and that doing so will make our community more safe."

On Saturday, Dec. 4, the DA's office will partner with the Red River Cultural District and the SIMS Foundation for a free multi-venue event called "Safer Together: Overdose Prevention & Harm Reduction Saves Lives." All funds will be donated to the SIMS Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to help reduce substance use issues while supporting the well-being of the music community. 

The DA’s office has pledged more than $15,000 from its discretionary fund to the foundation. Additionally, earlier this year, the Travis County Commissioners Court allocated $250,000 in the fiscal year 2022 budget for methadone and medication-assisted treatment to help address the opioid epidemic.

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