If you are interested in learning more about the Opioid Settlement join us on February 10th from 11am-12:30pm for the Faith Health Connection: Opioid Settlement. We will be joined by Steve Mange, Senior Policy & Strategy Counsel at North Carolina Department of Justice and Amy Bason, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners. Click here to register.
In July of 2021, the Opioid pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson reached a $26 billion settlement agreement with over 3,000 plaintiffs. The settlement is a chance to hold those distributors who helped cause the overdose epidemic accountable while representing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to listen to people with lived experience and invest in evidence-based solutions to set us up for the future. North Carolina was one of the plaintiffs and through this settlement, will receive $750 million to cities, counties, and the state. The agreement that the companies signed means that 85% of the money will come to the cities and counties and 15% will go to the state over 18 years. This money can help support people who use drugs and expand the harm reduction infrastructure in the state. The amount that will go to each city and county will be determined by a formula which includes impact and population data. For a breakdown of what each city and county will get click here.
There are two options for counties and cities to use the money outlined in the document called the Memorandum of Agreement. Option A is a list of 12 high-impact, evidence-based strategies that cities and counties can use the funds for. Some examples of these strategies are recovery housing supports, expanding medication assistance treatment, syringe exchange programs, and naloxone distribution. Option B is a strategic planning process that brings together community input and the voices of people with lived experiences to the planning process of how to use the funds. Examples of ways option B could be used are for multicounty collaboration or new ideas around substance use supports.
Now is the time to invest in proven and human-centered solutions. As people of faith, we believe that all people are made in God’s image and are children of God. Everyone deserves the chance to recover and to reach their full potential and these settlement funds allow us to expand services across our state.
We encourage faith communities to look around their local communities and see what resources are available and what is lacking based on the list in option A. Then contact your city or county representatives to advocate for one of these high-impact strategies. If you want to learn more about the evidence behind the strategies see the MOA breakdown handout.
For more information: https://ncopioidsettlement.org/