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Confronting surge in overdose deaths, supervisors make plans for opioid settlement money



San Diego County officials are making plans to tackle opioid addiction and overdoses, using $100 million the county expects to receive from settlements with drug manufacturers.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an opioid settlement framework that would fund counseling for overdose survivors, expand treatment for opioid addiction, provide housing and other services for people with substance use disorders and create a system for safe disposal of unused prescription drugs.

The county is fighting three lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, seeking damages for the public health costs of opioid addiction and deaths, and expects the first payment of about $4 million next month.

Although that’s a small portion of the total they anticipate, board members decided to develop programs now so they will be in place when the county receives the remaining funds in subsequent years.

“What we are proposing in our framework is to kickstart a substantial investment” in opioid treatment and prevention, Board Chair Nathan Fletcher said.

Read the full article here.