Michigan receives first chunk of $26 billion opioid settlement - here's how it will be used

Local governments got the first chunk of a massive settlement that Michigan and other states will receive following lawsuits with the country's three largest opioid distributors, as well as one producer. 

Over the next 18 years, Michigan will receive just under $800 million. Half of that money will be sent directly to county and local governments. The first slice of the pie comes in at $39.2 million, which the health department will use to fund treatment and recovery services, and harm-reduction strategies.

MDHHS came up with four ways that local governments can spend the money once they receive it: treatment, prevention, recovery, and harm reduction.

The four tenets cover a wide range of strategies for tackling addiction perpetuated from the opioid epidemic. Under the rules of the $26 billion settlement, priority would be given to governments and organizations that focus on core techniques:

  • Expanding access to Naloxone and other FDA-approved drugs that reverse overdoses
  • Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment like methadone and buprenorphine
  • Offer recovery services for pregnant and postpartum women
  • Expand treatment for babies who were exposed to drugs while in the womb
  • Hiring more social workers and funding the continuum of care network that provides housing, transportation, job training, and childcare
  • Treatment for incarcerated people
  • Expanded syringe service programs
  • Funding prevention programs in schools and in crafting media campaigns

A complete breakdown of potential treatments that could be funded can be found here.

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"Settlement dollars will allow us to invest in supports, improvements and enhancements to further our efforts to decrease substance use disorders, improve treatment options and improve recovery success," said MDHHS Director Elizabeht Hertel.