Funding to help reverse the opioid crisis headed to LI following financial settlements from drugmakers
Nationwide settlements have been finalized with major drugmakers and distributors over claims they helped fueled the opioid crisis.
The opioid crisis has been haunting Long Island for years, but now additional funding is coming that will help recovery efforts.
A nationwide settlement by Johnson & Johnson and three major distributors has resulted in $26 billion to be distributed nationwide.
The funds are designated to reverse the opioid crisis and help the areas that have been affected by it.
Some places could be getting money as soon as April.
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, with the Family and Children's Association and a leader in the fight against the opioid crisis, says those dollars will potentially stave off the increase in overdoses that have been experienced in the 10 years that have gotten worse with COVID.
"And I think they provide some level of vindication to families who lost loved ones to understand there was a bigger picture here," Reynolds says.
Certified recovery peer advocate Nicole Aretz says it's too late for many people, but she believes the money can be spent to help families and communities.
Aretz's son is in long-term recovery, and she says the settlement is bittersweet because so many lives have been lost.
"The opioid crisis has ravaged our communities," Aretz says.
New York has passed legislation to make sure the dollars go to the appropriate places as Nassau County and Suffolk County have made pledges on distribution of the funds.
Reynolds suggests stepping up prevention efforts, increasing treatment capacity and supporting recovery centers.
"Take those dollars and program them into things that we know work," Reynolds says.
The settlement money will not go directly to victims of opioid addiction or their family.