City directs a cut of opioid settlement funds to grieving families

This summer, some families in Boston could start receiving payments to cover funeral expenses and legal services.

City tackles first responders’ opioid compassion fatigue

When physically and emotionally exhausted emergency personnel started saying, “Let them die,” officials in Huntington, West Virginia, knew they had a problem. They also had a solution.

Clean needles save lives. In some states, they might not be legal.

In Pennsylvania, where 5,158 people died from a drug overdose in 2022, the state’s drug paraphernalia law stands in the way of harm reduction programs that distribute sterile syringes.

San Francisco tries tough love by tying welfare to drug rehab

Starting in January 2025, public assistance recipients who screen positive for addiction on a 10-question drug abuse test will be referred to treatment. Those who refuse or fail to show up for treatment will lose their benefits.

What's the poop? Wastewater data predicts overdoses

Analyzing wastewater samples can help public health workers paint a reliable picture of a community’s rapidly evolving drug use to to get ahead of overdoses.

First state-regulated overdose prevention center preps for opening

Rhode Island is using part of its opioid settlement money to expand harm reduction strategies and demonstrate how the center can impact drug use, crime and recovery.

To stop fentanyl deaths in Philadelphia, knocking on doors and handing out overdose kits

City officials hope that this proactive approach will normalize naloxone as an everyday item in the medicine cabinet, and prevent people from dying of overdoses, especially Black residents.

How states can help formerly incarcerated individuals stay sober

A Medicaid waiver can help state corrections facilities finance reentry services aimed at keeping previously incarcerated individuals in recovery and curbing the opioid crisis.

Track opioid settlement payouts—to the cent—in your community

Determining how much money has arrived is the first step in assessing whether the settlements will make a dent in the nation’s addiction crisis.

Tips for weaving equity into opioid settlement spending

The Equity Expectation Policy framework offers state and local officials insights on how to allocate opioid settlement funds effectively and fairly across communities.

Statistical models vs. front-line workers: Who knows best how to spend opioid settlement cash?

A mathematical model designed to direct spending of opioid settlement funds is at the center of a debate over whether to invest in technology to guide long-term decisions or focus on the immediate needs of people in addiction.

How one state has mapped out its opioid recovery plans

The Garden State is pouring more than $95 million of its opioid settlement money into harm reduction, treatment and housing as it starts to mitigate substance use disorders.

California prison drug overdoses surge again after early treatment success

Drug overdose deaths in California state prisons rebounded to near record levels last year, a big setback for corrections officials who thought they were on the right track with medication-assisted treatment efforts. Officials blame fentanyl.

Oregon's experiment in drug decriminalization failed. Advocates blame the state's political leadership.

Just over three years since Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 110, elected officials want to repeal key elements, blaming the law for open drug use and soaring overdoses. But it’s their own hands-off approach that isn’t working, advocates say.

To put a dent in opioid addiction, start with the corrections system

Pilot programs have offered incarcerated individuals medications for opioid use disorder, but now it’s time to start expanding those programs for long-term success, observers say.

Federal lawmakers take first steps toward oversight of $50 billion in opioid settlements

The four-page bill lists how states should spend settlement money, but it doesn’t specify consequences for flouting the rules or name who is in charge of monitoring compliance.

How state and local agencies are working together to quell the opioid crisis

Leaders at every level of government underlined the importance of collaboration to effectively leverage funding to address the nationwide opioid epidemic during a recent National Association of Counties event.

‘They see a cash cow’: Corporations could consume $50 billion of opioid settlements

Businesses are swarming state and local governments to pitch products and services that they claim can help address the opioid crisis, but experts warn profit-driven companies could be after a share of opioid settlement cash.

Millions in opioid settlement funds sit untouched as overdose deaths rise

Nationwide, state and local governments have received more than $4.3 billion as of Nov. 9. How much of that has been used remains uncertain due to states’ lack of public reporting. But from what is known, it varies.

With youth overdose death rates soaring, state offers free opioid reversal medication to schools

The initiative comes amid a spike in the number of teens who have died from drug overdoses in the last five years.

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