RALEIGH – North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and state and local partners unveiled a new online dashboard to help North Carolina local governments tackle the opioid crisis in their communities on November 9 .
The dashboard is available on ncopioidsettlement.org/ and offers resources to help communities decide how best to use their share of the nearly $ 850 million that could be coming to North Carolina to fight the opioid crisis.
“Every step in the fight against the opioid crisis has been a team effort,” Stein said in a press release. “I am grateful to our partners for their commitment to tackle this epidemic, and I hope this dashboard will help local governments find the best solutions for people in difficulty in their communities. This agreement represents a unique opportunity to turn the tide of this epidemic, and we owe it to those who fight drug addiction and those who have died of this disease to take advantage of it to build a healthier future. “
The website and online resources were developed in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Justice, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Injury Prevention Research Center UNC, the Association of North Carolina County Commissioners, and the League of North Carolina Municipalities. The Duke Energy Foundation provided financial support.
“This settlement and the settlement funds will be a transformation for counties and local governments in North Carolina,” said Kevin Leonard, executive director of the NCACC. “It will make a difference in the lives of those suffering from the impacts of this opioid crisis. This online resource will be an incredible new tool to share best practices, innovative treatments and other resources across our 100 counties. “
The funds for local governments will come from a $ 26 billion deal that Attorney General Stein helped negotiate with the country’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen – and Johnson & Johnson on the role of companies in creating and fueling the national opioid crisis.
“Dedicated government officials across the state have been working hard to address the opioid crisis,” NCLM Acting Executive Director Rose Vaughn Williams said. “These settlement funds and the information tools created by the state Department of Justice will provide the necessary resources for communities to deal with this crisis holistically. Opioid addiction has negatively affected so many lives, and the efforts that will flow from this settlement offer hope that by working together we can create a better future.
The agreements are moving forward and are currently in the subdivision’s signature period, which will run until January 2, 2022. Additional funds will come from the resolution of the Purdue Pharma bankruptcy and the bankruptcy of Mallinckrodt.
“Funding these settlements allows for the long-term investments that individuals and communities need to ensure sustainable recovery,” said NCDHHS Deputy Chief Health Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “The regulation aligns with the NC action plan on opioids and addiction – strategies that we know work to prevent addiction, reduce harm and connect people in need of care and support to recovery who find jobs and rebuild lives. ”
More than 120 local governments have already signed a memorandum of understanding detailing how North Carolina’s clawbacks will be allocated and used. North Carolina counties and municipalities will need to sign the national settlement agreement by Jan. 2 to ensure North Carolina receives its full share of the funds. Eighty-five percent of these funds will go directly to local communities, where they can set up evidence-based treatment and recovery services to help people with substance use disorders.
“This is a partnership between communities, academia, and public justice and health organizations,” said Natalie Blackburn, PhD, IPRC public health scientist and project leader. “It’s very exciting to launch the site. I look forward to adding more dashboards to the site in the coming months to help counties make the best decisions for their communities.
Once agreements are finalized and settlement funds are available, the dashboard will also include annual financial and impact reports showing how local governments are using opioid settlement funds to fight the epidemic.
“Local leaders across the state see the opioid crisis as one of the biggest challenges their communities face,” said Stephen De May, president of Duke Energy in North Carolina. “The Duke Energy Foundation is proud to fund this powerful tracking tool and to help North Carolina in this fight. “