Thousands of U.S. communities have received opioid recovery funds from the $26 billion global settlements involving the “Big Three” drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, along with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. Whether or not individual families who have been hard hit will see any of this money remains to be seen. But the legal arrangement specifies that states must spend “at least 70% of the money for opioid-related expenses in the coming years and includes a list of qualifying expenses like expanding access to treatment and buying the overdose reversal medication naloxone. Fifteen percent of the funds can be used for administrative expenses or for governments to reimburse past opioid-related expenses.”
My concern with the “arrangement” is that with billions in lawsuits money non or little of it will be used on the prevention of drug use. There are many states putting most or all of the monies received into the “general fund” to make up for money spent on combating the crisis. With that mentality this crisis will never end. We can’t keep putting money into naloxone and treatment centers alone because that says to me that as long as we can reverse an overdose and treat those addicted, we can continue to get more and more people addicted.
There are still as many as 200 American dying each day from drug overdose. The real issue seems to be how to prevent drug use. How do we keep unethical doctors from overprescribing, and how do we educate children to avoid becoming accidentally addicted. Many drugs now come in the form of colorful candy. To read more about how the funds may be used, read the article below.