How Will North Carolina Use Its 750 Million Dollar Opioid Settlement?
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced a historic settlement agreement between opioid manufacturers and distributors in mid-July. The settlement, part of an agreement taking responsibility for the opioid crisis, will bring $750 million to North Carolina over 18 years. The money will go to support state and local efforts to address the opioid crisis.
Stakeholders in the recovery industry, including religious partners such as The North Carolina Council of Churches, have asked lawmakers to divert the money toward syringe access programs, naloxone, and medically assisted treatment. These measures, proponents say, are vital to saving lives in North Carolina.
Other addiction professionals point out the need for more Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and treatment programs. MAT is considered the “gold standard” for people with opioid use disorder.
NC's Opioid Crisis Worsened During Pandemic
The settlement money has never been more vital to fighting the addiction epidemic. News studies show that overdoses in North Carolina increased 35%, and over 93,000 Americans were lost to overdoses in 2020.
The COVID-19 crisis affected many people with addiction in many ways. Some people who were addicted became more isolated and began to use drugs alone, making them in more danger of a relapse.
MAT and Treatment Can Save and Transform Lives
Many proponents of addiction recovery say there need to be more harm reduction methods on the street. Programs like these can help save lives. But finding recovery is the only way a person can leave drugs behind and reclaim their life. This is what makes access to Medication-Assisted Treatment so vital, especially during the pandemic.
The government is still deciding how much money North Carolina uses each year on harm reduction, treatment, and recovery programs.
When announcing the settlement, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein told reporters, “The sad truth is there are many, many, many counties in North Carolina that have had devastating impacts from this crisis.” He then added that he wants to make sure the funds will be distributed to counties in need across the state.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or somebody you love lives with an opioid use disorder, help is available! We can help you reclaim your life and decide if Medication-Assisted Treatment is right for you. Please give us a call at 910-295-7246 to learn more about your options.
If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.