Delaware County will move quickly to use opioid settlement funding coming in to ease the suffering of those with addictions, as well as families and communities affected by the opioid crisis.
That assurance comes from Sandy Garrison, chief of the county’s Human Services and Community Support.
She is also a member of an Opioid Settlement Funds Task Force set up to look at how $63 million in settlement funds should be spent. The money will arrive in 18 annual payments.
It is coming from a $26 billion multi-state opioid settlement with Johnson & Johnson, AmeriSourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson.
“Delaware County has taken enormous strides to reform how it thinks about and addresses public health and safety in recent years, and these funds will continue the progress we are making to treat addiction as a public health epidemic and deliver necessary care and services to treat it,” Garrison said.
Funds will be used to:
- Expand the Use of Naloxone and Medication Assisted Treatment
- Treat and Screen Pregnant and Post-Partum Women and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Babies
- Facilitate Warm Hand-Offs of Opioid Overdose Survivors from Emergency Medical Care to Specialty Substance Use Disorder Treatment
- Treatment for the Incarcerated Population
- Prevention and Education
- Syringe Service Programs
- Data Collection and Research
Funds will also be used for Wrap-Around Services, support of Drug Courts and Diversion Programs, and support of First Responders.
“We can help those suffering from addiction and educate the community about the danger of opioids with a focus on prevention and recovery,” said Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor.
The Task Force will coordinate county departments, District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, medical professionals and organizations, and residents with addiction experience to provide services to people struggling with addiction.
“Addressing substance abuse in our communities requires a team effort, marrying prevention, education, and treatment efforts to help people who are suffering,” said District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer
The county is inviting members of the public to join the Task Force. Resident can email their interest to DelcoBoards@co.delaware.pa.us.
Task Force members will be appointed Feb. 1 by county council. The first meeting of the Task Force will take place Feb. 23 at 6 PM.
Read more about Delaware County’s allocation of Opioid Settlement Funds at delcopa.gov.