PORTSMOUTH- Scioto County’s part of the state’s opioid settlement from the pharmaceutical industry for its role in the opioid epidemic will now be funneled through the Scioto County Auditor’s Office.
“These monies are flowing and these are from the lawsuits,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis. The money comes as settlements from several major pharmacy chains, including CVS and Walmart, over the opioid epidemic. “We also had some prior settlements and these monies had to flow somewhere.”
Ohio received $808 million in funds connected to a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical industry for its role in the opioid epidemic. The funds must be used for prevention education and rehabilitation, things needed to combat the effects of opioid addiction on the county’s residents.
Scioto County is part of the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, which is charged with distributing 55 percent of the funds the state has received from the settlement. Thirty percent of the funds go to local governments, and 15 percent to the State of Ohio.
“We will be working to set up a way for us to utilize these funds,” Davis said. “There are certain things you can do.”
The OneOhio Recovery Foundation regional board will be offering grants. Scioto County is in the ninth region, but to get money flowing to fight opioid addiction in Scioto County, there has to be a mechanism set up.
“The auditor’s office is in charge of setting that up,” said Commissioner Cathy Coleman.
Work is already being done, but the commissioners on Thursday passed a resolution to make it a smoother, more efficient process.
“They’re already doing a lot of the work,” Davis said. “They’re bringing the money in and putting it in the right pots.”