Connecticut to receive $300M in opioid recovery fund over next 18 years
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced Wednesday the state's second payment from the American Opioid Settlement. The settlement will bring $300 million in opioid recovery funding to Connecticut over the next 18 years.
"Fifteen percent went directly to cities and towns across the country, that money's been dispersed," said Tong.
Bridgeport Finance Director Kenneth Flatto says the $50,000 the city has already received is hard at work expanding local family addiction services.
"It's certainly helping our Health Department to try to enhance some of their services to the community," said Flatto. "Having the ability to share and expend some of it based on city local health agency needs and local public needs, I think, is critically important."
Eighty-five percent of settlement funds will be distributed by the Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee established last legislative session.
Kristen Pendergrass is head of policy for Shatterproof, a Norwalk-based treatment nonprofit born out of family tragedy. She says spending over the next 18 years of payments needs to balance with the near future.
"I think there's some immediate short-term things, mostly in the harm reduction space, that could save lives immediately. Let's make sure Naloxone is widely available, that people know how to use it," said Pendergrass.
Shatterproof is also encouraging Connecticut residents to contact their local officials to share how they feel the opioid settlement money can best be spent.