Virginia expected to receive 530$ million in opioid settlement

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 5:35 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Five hundred and thirty million dollars will start rolling out to Virginia from a national settlement with opioid manufacturers. Funds given to fight the opioid crisis in the commonwealth will start being released in the coming months.

“The Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority is set up to this idea that we are going to use this money, send it to the localities and they know what is the best method, the best tools of prevention and recovery from addiction in their individual locality,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said.

The money comes from a settlement with Johnson and Johnson and the three biggest U.S drug distribution companies. Cash without a formal admission of responsibility.

“I think folks really know who are responsible, and they’re continuing to go after them. I expect that sooner or later they’ll have to own up to it,” Secretary of the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority Victor McKenzie Jr said.

Region ten sees the impact of the opioid crisis every day. They expect the funding to reach them, even if indirectly.

“Department of behavioral health and developmental services is our state agency that supports Region Tens. Community, opioid prevention, treatment and recovery work. So it wouldn’t be direct funding,” Representative with Region Ten Rebecca Kendall said.

They say the money will make a difference.

“We would use the funding for helping to increase access to medication assisted treatment. So it’s an evidence based treatment for opioid use disorder that is very effective, maybe to help expand peer recovery services, to help link people to treatment services when they need it,” Kendall said.

McKenzie says they will not make any major moves until the general assembly session is over.

“We’ll get a chance to take in some of that seed money, hire an executive director of finance director to really build the infrastructure, the authority. And then we’ll be able to really reinvest those funds,” McKenzie said.

No matter what county you are in, Miyares says some funding will be coming your way.

“In this case, every single locality in Virginia signed on to this,” said Miyares.

Region 10 encourages anyone struggling with addiction to reach out and take advantage of their services.

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