Public well being consultants push for regional collaboration with opioid settlement cash | WJHL

JONESBOROUGH, Tennessee (WJHL) – The region will make more for its opioid settlement money if northeast Tennessee counties work together on using the funds, public health experts told Washington County commissioners on Monday.

Rob Pack, professor of public health at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), pitched a concerted approach at a special district commission workshop on settlement funds. Pack has been a regional leader in drug abuse recovery efforts for the past decade and serves on several prominent regional and national groups dedicated to managing the crisis with an evidence-based approach.

Area governments are beginning to plan how best to spend the more than $ 20 million they will receive from the Baby Doe opioid settlement.

More than a month ago, the Stacy Street First District Criminal Justice judge suggested that local government leaders consider funding an inpatient treatment center in the former Northeast Correctional Center labor camp in Roan Mountain.

PREVIOUS: Community leaders hear pitch for a drug treatment center with Baby Doe comparative dollars

Street was in attendance on Monday, as were her fellow judge Lisa Nidiffer and State Representatives Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesborough) and Tim Hicks (R-Gray).

Pack said he was coming not with a proposal but with a framework for how the county can best spend the funds. District Attorney Allyson Wilkinson said the commissioners will be free and free of possible “recoveries” from any bankruptcy related to the case on November 3rd.

“I have no profit from what I say tonight,” Pack told the commissioners. “I’m not looking for resources here, I’m not making a suggestion for anything.”

Instead, Pack reviewed facts about the impact of the opioid crisis at the regional and national levels.

He urged commissioners to consider a public health approach to using the funds and gave a full overview of how public health experts see the best way to help people recover from drug addiction and stay successful in recovery.

Pack said drug overdose deaths in Tennessee increased more than 40% in 2020 from 2019. However, he said that up to 66% of people suffering from substance abuse recover and call recovery “not just possible, but likely”.

A key to ensuring that success reaches the most people is remembering that recovery is likely and a willingness to use “harm reduction” methods, including considering needle exchange programs, Pack said.

Another, he said, is “maximizing the impact of settlement resources by coordinating recovery services.”

Finally, he pointed to successful models, including in Kentucky, that include opportunities for self-preservation efforts in order to be self-sustaining.

“We need to think about getting out of this eternal scholarship cycle,” said Pack.

Wilkinson said the vast majority of settlement funds have almost no restrictions.

Commissioner Freddie Malone noted that the opioid crisis has caused Washington County to bear more costs – in everything from law enforcement to public health to education – than it receives in funding.

Jim Wheeler agreed, saying the severance payment was “a very small amount that we get back for things that were actually expenses. This is not a grant … this is money that we spent and was recovered for the community … and whatever it is for is a local decision. “

Once November 3 arrives, the Washington County amount cannot be “reclaimed from bankruptcy,” and the county can begin allocating it at its own discretion.

Commission chairman Greg Matherly recommended that the procedure for examining specific proposals be left in the HEW committee.

When NC will see cash from the Opioid Settlement

Cities and counties have until January 2, 2022. If they do not make a decision, they will be excluded from the settlement fee.

GREENSBORO, NC – The opioid epidemic is national, 48 states and territories have joined forces for the second largest settlement in history by the Attorneys General. The total settlement amounts to $ 26 billion against pharmaceutical companies and distributors such as Johnson & Johnson, Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen and Purdue Pharma.

North Carolina’s share of this settlement could be $ 750 million or more. The key word is could. To get all the money, all counties and major cities in the state have to go along.

“Some have already indicated that they want to join by creating a Memorandum of Agreement, but then they have to pass a resolution to sign the document. This is already happening across the state and we want it to be the case in every single county because if we get everyone on board we will get the maximum amount of money back to NC, ”said Josh Stein, NC attorney general.

the Map shows the status of counties and cities As of September 9, 2021. All green counties have approved this agreement, 20 of them have signed the resolution, including Greensboro, High Point, Summerfield, Winston-Salem.

Municipalities have a deadline of January 2, 2021 to register. If a city or county does not register, they will not receive any money when the checks are received. If the municipality signs up, checks can run out in April 2022.

How is the money divided?
15% – Goes to the state. The General Assembly will have control over it.
80% – Goes to local governments.
5% – Goes to the incentive fund to encourage enrollment.

How is the money used? There is an approved list, but it has to serve only one purpose: combating opioid abuse.

“When you think about the aftermath of opioid addiction, it’s our prisons, our emergency services, naloxone, narcan, to save lives, so we want the money to go to the local government,” Stein said.

Stein says his department wrote the 8-page appendix that lists any approved programs or departments that the money can be used for. To date, more than 16,000 people have lost their lives to opioid abuse.

Niles council members hurry for settlement cash from opioid epidemic lawsuit earlier than deadline

(WKBN) – Money is pouring into Ohio communities as part of a class action lawsuit settlement against drug companies for their role in the opioid epidemic.

The Ohio churches will receive $ 26 billion.

Niles is one of the communities working to get an ordinance to accept some of that money. They held a special council meeting on Wednesday evening to learn more about this money.

Niles is said to win $ 300,000 from the settlement.

This money can be used for treatment, education, distribution crackdowns, and other community needs.

12 year old Mahoning County girl looking for her forever home

Gostlin: Is there a reason the city shouldn’t accept this money?
Zuzolo: “Not from a legal point of view. Not that I could see it. “

Philip Zuzolo is a Niles Law Director.

The compensation never has to be paid back.

Johnson and Johnson and three pharmaceutical distributors pay the bill. One such distributor is Cardinal Health, based in Ohio, just outside of Columbus.

“This epidemic has hit us hard,” said Jimmy Julian, a member of Niles City Council.

According to the Ohio Attorney General’s website, Trumbull County ranks sixth in the state for all opioid-related deaths.

Niles has the second largest death toll in Trumbull.

“It will go into resources fighting this epidemic, which is still rife in northeast Ohio but across Ohio as a whole,” said Julian.

The distributors have 17 years to pay their severance payments. Under the terms of the agreement, Johnson and Johnson will cease selling and promoting the sale of opioids.

“Very much needed by the police, courts and various educational programs, and hopefully it can help families affected by this epidemic,” said Julian.

But the city is running out of time to pass the ordinance.

“We were told that the resolution or ordinance must be passed by August 13th to allow full participation,” said Zuzolo.

Not enough city council members showed up to see him off without a third reading.

So the last vote will take place on Thursday.

Councilors at Wednesday’s meeting say they expect to be approved before Friday’s deadline.

Cash from opioid settlements should go to fortify public well being

S.States, counties, cities and tribes have launched thousands of legal proceedings to hold drug industry players accountable for their role in starting the opioid epidemic.

These lawsuits came as nearly 500,000 Americans have died from prescription and illegal opioid overdoses in the past two decades. Many more have suffered non-fatal overdoses, and an estimated 20 million Americans Struggle with substance use disorders.

Between 2006 and 2014, drug manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies flooded every corner of the country with more than 100 billion pain relievers. My home state was Illinois 2.7 billion pills sent, with Hardin County in southern Illinois inundated with enough opioids to provide nearly three months of supply to each resident. Some West Virginia and Kentucky counties were oversupplied almost twice as much.


Major players in the pharmaceutical industry have misled patients and providers about the risks of opioids, illegally promoting these addicting products, and ruthlessly distributing unjustified amounts of them.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made the problem worse, with a record 93,000 Americans fatal overdose in 2020. Proponents call it a perfect storm: addiction that thrives in the shadow of isolation, cutbacks in services, economic stress, trauma, and racial injustice.


In March, Congress passed President Biden American rescue plan, which sent nearly $ 4 billion in addiction and mental health treatment grants to communities across the country. It also included a provision that I made $ 1 billion through the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps to address the shortage of healthcare professionals such as addiction and mental health specialists. But more needs to be done.

Last month, a bipartisan group of attorneys general announced the framework of a Dispute resolution Johnson & Johnson and the country’s three largest drug distributors – Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson – where the companies would pay a total of $ 26 billion over 18 years to settle the lawsuits. The work is still ongoing, but I applaud the Attorneys General for their extensive work to get to this stage.

Legal proceedings against several other key industry stakeholders who are yet to be held accountable for their roles continue. These include the Sackler family of Purdue Pharma and OxyContin Infamy who are trying to develop a legal plan to evade liability by bankruptcy court.

When a groundbreaking master agreement was reached in 1998 due to another public health scourge – tobacco – cigarette manufacturers provided an estimated $ 246 billion in compensation to states.

Unfortunately, most of those billions of dollars were diverted from public health to roads, bridges, stadiums and other government projects. The country missed its moment to strengthen public health.

If opioid settlements are achieved, we must learn from the missed opportunity with tobacco. This means that the funds from opioid settlements will be devoted to building the public health systems our country needs to respond to the opioid crisis and prevent future addictions. This includes providing resources for inpatient and community treatment and recovery services; Expanding access to drug-assisted treatment, naloxone, and other harm reduction strategies; and strengthening the country’s behavioral health capacities.

Funds from opioid settlements should also be focused on underlying structural problems, including childhood trauma; the need to improve education and address the stigma associated with addiction; Investing in mental health and supportive housing; and better monitoring of pharmaceutical industry practices.

The opioid epidemic was not caused by an infectious virus. It started with making business decisions to increase profits. Far too many families have suffered from corporate greed and misconduct. As legal efforts continue to seek accountability, we must heed the lesson from the Tobacco Settlement and help our communities heal.

Dick Durbin, the senior United States Senator from Illinois, has been a Democratic Senator since 2005 and is now the Senate majority whip and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

States should determine precisely easy methods to spend opioid settlement cash

The endgame of the spreading mass of opioid lawsuits comes into focus: Already a settlement with Johnson & Johnson and three major drug dealers pouring billions of dollars into communities to tackle the addiction crisis, and more to come.

But what exactly that looks like differs from place to place. States will likely see lump sums of money handed out for years and it will be up to them to decide how to spend it according to the signposts posted in the settlements. It could easily be subject to competing interests: lawmakers could argue with governors over priorities, while counties in some places could demand more autonomy. Some public health experts also raise questions about the quality of addiction programs that states could fund.

“This is extremely complicated, and it will be difficult to get it right,” said Kelly Dineen, director of the health law program at Creighton University Law School.


The lawyers leading the lawsuits promise the bulk of the billions will be used on addiction prevention and treatment. They say they are building safeguards into the agreements to ensure the money gets to the root of the problem that led states, cities, counties, and tribes to file these cases in the first place – a crisis that only reached new depths during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s a direct response to the 1998 more than $ 200 billion worth of historic tobacco settlement in which money advocates argued that they should go into smoking cessation and instead put prevention into the general funds of the states – and on some Places used for services that were as independent as filling potholes.


“This money has to go down and fight addiction,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said last week when a group of attorneys general announced the $ 26 billion deal with the three distributors and Johnson & Johnson. “We’re here for an addiction.”

More deals could follow as plaintiffs and defendants in the opioid supply chain – including manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies – negotiate ways to resolve the thousands of lawsuits alleging the companies sparked the country’s opioid epidemic .

State officials often look to available sources of income to supplement their limited budgets. If the settlements stipulate that the money should be used for control programs, a state could potentially skim some of the funds to build a general addiction care hospital, even if it wasn’t just an opioid addiction facility, some speculated Experts.

“There is always room in these matters for states to perhaps wriggle out of their original intent,” said Nicolas Terry, executive director of the Hall Center for Law and Health at Indiana University’s law school.

And when the money gets moving, different parties could argue about how to spend it.

When Oklahoma settled an isolated case against Purdue Pharma in 2019, the money was raised helped found an addiction treatment center at Oklahoma State University, in an initiative led by Attorney General Mike Hunter. But the members of the state parliament were outraged that the money hadn’t been put in the treasury so that they could decide what to do with it. You have been changed the law This gives them the authority to split funds from future settlements.

Other states are trying to get ahead of the process. Tennessee has set up an opioid defense council that will help steer any funding, while New York has set up a “lock box” for funds from the settlements to make sure it goes to addiction services.

“Yes, we reached an agreement after many months and years of negotiations, but it will not bring back the loss of life,” New York attorney general Letitia James said last week. “What it will do is prevent this tragedy from happening again. It will provide prevention and education, as well as prevention and beds, to the organizations and hospitals who need them now more than ever. “

New York has also set up a body to advise lawmakers on how to allocate the money, made up of health officials and people who have had addictions either themselves or in their families, which Melissa Moore, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, “is really crucial Level of accountability. “

In Oregon, county officials argue that most of the settlement money the state receives should go to them because the county governments are largely responsible for addiction relief, said Brad Anderson, senior assistant counsel in Washington County, the state’s second largest.

“These were local government lawsuits,” said Anderson. “Local governments have felt the effects of the opioid epidemic disproportionately and are best placed to be part of the solution.”

The county plans to use the funds received to build its planned addiction treatment and treatment center.

“People go to the emergency room, they often go to jail,” said Kristin Burke from the district’s health department. “But what we really want is for people to be treated.”

There are still many details to clarify before much of the money reaches the state coffers. More states and municipalities are considering the deal with the distributors and Johnson & Johnson and have an opportunity to sign up, but Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has already done so refused the compact, argues that the $ 26 billion over 18 years – and the estimated $ 527.5 million the state would receive over that period – is insufficient to take the toll on the addiction crisis. (Nearly $ 24 billion from the deal will go to the states, with the remaining $ 2 billion covering fees and expenses, attorneys general said.)

Public health experts have credited attorneys with describing the types of addiction programs the settlement money can be used for. In the agreement made with the distributors and Johnson & Johnson last week, the agreement lists a number of avoidance strategies aligning with public health approaches to combating addiction, including distribution of the opioid reversal drug overdose drug naloxone; Offer drug treatment to people without insurance and to people imprisoned; and expansion of syringe exchange programs.

Still, experts have raised concerns about how exactly states will allocate their dollars, with concerns about what types of programs they may or may not fund. Political and law enforcement agencies sometimes reject some of the most effective treatments for opioid addiction – the drugs methadone and buprenorphine – because they are opioids themselves, preferring instead to programs that encourage abstinence but are less successful and not endorsed by addiction health professionals.

“We want ways for states to adjust settlement funds to meet the needs of the people in their state,” said Dineen of Creighton. “But we also know that when it comes to drug policy, states do not always make evidence-based health decisions.”

For example, in Louisiana, lawmakers have passed Landry-sponsored bill direct any settlement money to drug courts. (The governor vetoed the measure, saying it had too vaguely defined an acceptable use of the money.) Many Public health advocates argue that drug courts are an extension of the criminal justice system that often fail to help people get evidence-based treatment and instead call on medical experts to guide addiction treatment.

While the settlement deal suggests what experts say are the best types of intervention, the deals are also expected to spend millions of dollars as officials in some states cut back on damage control programs. Local officials in Indiana and New Jersey Communities recently voted for closure syringe exchange programs, which can serve as avenues for addiction treatment and have been shown to reduce the transmission of viruses such as hepatitis C and HIV among people who inject drugs.

“You have to put your money where your mouth is,” Dineen said of the officers who will oversee the billing dollars. “If you really want to help or help prevent people with opioid use disorder, then you need to support programs and services that have a track record.”

Opioid settlements are imminent. Spend the cash on confirmed therapies that save lives.

The bill is finally due for businesses that have benefited from addiction and death. State officials announced on Wednesday that four companies are on the verge of becoming one $ 26 billion in comparison with more than 3,000 local governments for their role in fueling the overdose crisis. Purdue Pharma is mostly absent, but the infamous company and the Sackler family who own it are into one separate bankruptcy case in which they’re likely to pay out $ 4.5 billion. It could be approved next month.

The impending settlements raise pressing questions: How will the funds from Purdue and other companies that fueled the overdose crisis be spent, and how can we end the grave suffering and loss they caused?

Some lawsuits may be over, but the overdose crisis isn’t. It has over 930,000. claimed Life since 1999. Millions of Americans who have lost friends and family members see little hope for justice and few safeguards to prevent such a crisis from occurring again. And those struggling with substance use disorders are overwhelming Barriers to treatmentputting them at serious risk of overdose and death.

A flood of resources is coming

In many ways the crisis is worse than ever. Mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drug overdoses of all kinds took drug more than 93,000 lives last year – an increase of 29% compared to 2019. The future looks bleak, but there is still cause for hope. The opioid settlements and several ongoing lawsuits could ultimately lead to too $ 50 billion or more, floods struggling communities with resources. These resources cannot compensate for our tragic collective loss, but they can be used to help those who suffer. Where should the money go?

Those of us who remember the tobacco settlements in the late 1990s know that financial gain doesn’t always go to those in need of help the most. States received $ 206 billion, almost none of them went Reduction in smoking damage.

Plaintiffs in opioid cases have promised that opioid comparison funds will help prevent and treat opioid use disorders. This strategy sounds good on the surface, but a deeper dive suggests that it may not have the desired result.

The story goes on

Protesters leave pill bottles in front of Purdue Pharma headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, in 2018.

States serious about reducing overdose deaths should devote most of their resources to harm reduction and evidence-based treatment. Harm reduction strategies – those aimed at meeting people where they are and promoting positive change – have been shown to be effective in reducing overdose deaths. These approaches include syringe delivery programs, naloxone distribution programs, and monitored consumption services.

Congressman Trone: Spend the opioid settlement funds to prevent more deaths like my nephew’s

States also need to overcome barriers to medical treatment. Two of the most effective treatments for opioid use disorder – buprenorphine and methadone – are largely inaccessible. Less than 10% of primary care practices in the US are licensed for Prescribe buprenorphinewhile having access to methadone severely restricted by law.

Research has shown that access to buprenorphine can be expanded through the involvement of health care providers such as nurses and pharmacists, and access to methadone can be expanded through the relaxation of strict laws. States should focus their efforts on expanding access to functioning care.

Put money into programs that work

However, states make a grave mistake by simply funding existing programs without regard to their quality or effectiveness, and by removing proven programs. The treatment industry is large and diverse. In addition to evidence-based programs, there are predatory, for-profit treatment centers. And some treatment programs are worse than failure – they don’t provide real treatment and discharge patients with decreased drug tolerance that increases the risk of overdose.

We are unlikely to lower overdose rates when ineffective or harmful programs receive the same amount of funding as evidence-based treatment programs.

At the same time, many cities and federal states are working on a cross. They promise to use settlement funds to save lives while dismantling programs that do just that. The latest wave of Shutdowns of the syringe provisioning program threatens to undermine efforts to contain deaths from overdose.

Not responsible enough: Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers shouldn’t get out without paying more

For example, commissioners in Scott County, Indiana, voted last month to Close a syringe deployment program which was created in 2015 to contain an HIV outbreak. This one step forward and two step back approach lets us step on water rather than dragging us onto dry land from treacherous tides.

Investing in harm reduction and medical treatment pay off for lives saved. But if we don’t act now, we will have a bigger problem. We can only address this problem by expanding access to harm reduction and evidence-based treatment and building on existing programs rather than destroying them. Billions of dollars cannot bring back those we lost, but we can still demand that funds reclaimed from those who mediated death to save lives.

Elizabeth Chiarello, Ph.D. (@Liz_Chiarello), is Associate Professor of Sociology at Saint Louis University and a former Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. Her book, Policing Patients, is under contract with Princeton University Press. Allan M. Brandt, Ph.D., is Kass Professor of Medical History at Harvard University and author of author “The Century of the Cigarette: Rise, Fall, and Persistence of the Product That Defined America”. “

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opioid settlements come as the overdose crisis is worse than ever

Recovering addicts weight in on NY opioid settlement cash

ROCHESTER, NY – Johnson & Johnson has reached a $ 230 million settlement with New York State after being sued by the state over his alleged role in the ongoing opioid epidemic. Recovering addicts weigh what to do with the money.

Dean is grateful. Grateful for his home, his car and his job of remodeling houses.

What you need to know

  • Recovering addicts weigh what to do with the money following a $ 230 million settlement between New York and Johnson & Johnson
  • New York and other states are challenging opioid manufacturers and distributors, claiming that these companies helped fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic
  • One recovering addict believes that the money gained from this settlement and similar ongoing legal proceedings should go towards mental health services and inpatient programs for those in recovery.

“I love it,” said Dean, who didn’t want his last name published. “I grew up here, my family lives around me. My mother is a seven-minute walk from here.

“I look forward to going to work, I look forward to seeing the people I work with.”

That’s because he didn’t have any of it two years ago.

“I had nothing,” said Dean. “I was on the road, I didn’t have a home. I lived under a bridge. I didn’t have to go anywhere. “

For 15 years he struggled with opioid addiction, which not only left him homeless but also in and out of prison. He even overdosed several times.

“It just went downhill, I stole and robbed people [and] Rob drug dealers … “, said Dean.

And it all started with pain medication prescribed for him in high school after an ATV accident.

“The pills made me feel so good,” said Dean. “I loved having her all along. And they were so easy to find and so easy to get. “

New York and other states are challenging opioid manufacturers and distributors, claiming that these companies helped fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Johnson & Johnson, while admitting no liability or wrongdoing, agreed to a $ 230 million settlement with New York State late last month.

And Dean believes the money should go to nonprofits that are fighting the epidemic on the streets, nonprofits like Gates to Recovery.

“You should invest in those who are really helping right now,” said Dean. “Who helps and who is really out there, not because of the money.”

After work, Dean went to a Narcan training event jointly hosted by Gates to Recovery and Mission Recovery and Hope to support the cause. He says such events are important because Narcan saved his life several times.

“I never thought that half a bag would upset me, but it did,” said Dean. “And I’ve always been lucky enough to have someone to save me.”

He’s not just a member of Gates to Recovery. Its boss is President Randy Cimino, who, like Dean, employs those who are in recovery.

“I want to give you this chance. I’ll pay them a good, fair wage, ”said Cimino. “These are talented men and women who are very highly qualified and only need one chance.”

Randy is a retired addict himself and joined Gates to Recovery after leaving prison six years ago.

“It’s difficult because a lot of people are looking for information, but there’s nowhere to go,” said Cimino. “You come to us, we give this information and we give you directions on where to find the help.”

He believes that the money raised from this settlement and similar ongoing legal proceedings should go to mental health services and inpatient programs for those in recovery.

“This money is urgently needed to help these men and women in need,” said Cimino. “There’s no program out there in New York that is very effective at all.”

But no matter where the money goes, Dean is happy that New York State is taking a stand and hopes this will help people understand the consequences of taking the pill.

“I hope this is more likely to open people’s eyes, and I hope that the right help is out there,” said Dean.

Bucco to Governor: Signal Invoice Now to Put Opioid Settlement Cash to Work Saving Lives

Bucco to Governor: Sign Bill Now to Use Opioid Compensation for Work to Save Lives

A $ 4.5 billion state settlement with the drug company responsible for making and promoting the addictive pain reliever that fueled the rampant opioid epidemic will gross more than $ 110 million in New Jersey , and Senator Anthony M. Bucco urges the governor to ensure the money is used to fight addiction and save lives.

“In anticipation of this year-long agreement, both houses of the legislature unanimously passed a bill that establishes a framework for the use of opioid comparators to support addiction prevention and treatment programs,” said Bucco (R-25). “This bill is on the governor’s desk and I hope he won’t waste time signing it so we can get the money out on the streets, help people and save lives as soon as possible.”

Bucco is a sponsor of the bill, S-3867who would establish the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund and a 13-member Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund Advisory Council.

According to the draft law, monies received by the state in a settlement would be paid into the fund and used specifically for the purpose of supplementing programs and services for the prevention and treatment of addiction diseases and according to the terms of the settlements in connection with claims from manufacturing, marketing , Distribution or dispensing of opioids.

“This settlement money should be used immediately to mitigate some of the damage caused by Purdue Pharma’s irresponsible advertising and marketing of OxyContin,” said Bucco. “This is just a drop in the bucket compared to the damage done, so it is important that we get the most out of every dollar to fight the epidemic and prevent tragic consequences. It’s the right thing. “

A similar fund was recently created in upstate New York, where settlement funds must be poured into a new fund to ensure proceeds go towards fighting the opioid epidemic.

The agreement between 15 states, including New Jersey, and Purdue Pharma follows years of litigation. A mediator’s report filed in federal court in New York revealed the deal, and the settlement is subject to court approval.

“The opioid epidemic didn’t miss a beat during the pandemic, and there is no time to waste,” said Bucco. “This money, if used properly, will save lives and prevent tragedies that have become all too common in our state’s communities.

“The governor understands the urgency and I hope he will work with the legislature to ensure the money is paid responsibly so that it has the greatest impact and helps the most people,” added Bucco.

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Seminole Showdown Wrestling Raises Cash for Opioid Disaster

WrestleMania started in Tampa on Saturday, but a very different type of wrestling event drew crowds in Seminole County.

It’s more than just a show of force. It’s meant to show the community how Seminole County is battling something much bigger than the competition in this ring.

What you need to know

  • The wrestling event raised funds to help tackle the opioid crisis in the Seminole district
  • Longwood Mayor (and former WWE star) Matt Morgan attended
  • Sheriff: 109 people died of an opioid overdose in the county last year

The Seminole showdown Two Fighters – Raise money to help fight Central Florida’s opioid crisis.

“We know that people have turned to the substance of their choice on a greater level than ever before,” said Dennis Lemma, Seminole County Sheriff, that 109 people died of opioid overdoses in the last year alone.

“In all honesty, if you look at this epidemic, it is the problem that occurred before COVID-19. We knew three years ago that 19 people in the state of Florida lost their lives because they were addicted to opioids, and now the numbers are even higher. “

Lemma was on the sidelines of this game, but he was at the forefront of efforts to bring a Hope & Healing Center to town. It helps people recover from opioid addiction.

Tim Cook, CEO of AdventHealth in Seminole County, worked with Lemma on the project and formed an unusual public-private partnership aimed at serving anyone.

“There are places that care for people with addiction problems, but there really isn’t a place that is easy for everyone, regardless of your background and insurance,” said Cook.

“We knew we had one Hope and healing center It was so important to be right across from our correctional facility, which was home to a vulnerable population, “added Lemma.

One of those wrestlers – former WWE star and current Longwood Mayor Matt Morgan – is no stranger to opioids. He fought for his light once after surviving an overdose.

Now he is fighting to help others win this fight.

“Part of the challenge is the stigma,” Cook said. “When people are in crisis, they don’t know what to do and they don’t want to talk about it.” You don’t want people to know. So when someone like Matt shows up and others … people can be comfortable and others can hug them. And that’s how people find hope. “

The event was hosted by Leadership seminar.

The Hope and Healing Center officially opened in Sanford last month.

West Bloomfield CEO sentenced in $150 million well being care fraud, opioid, cash laundering scheme

The proceeds from the fraud were used to fund private jet flights, tickets to the NBA court finals and the purchase of luxury cars, jewelry and real estate, the DOJ’s press release said.

Rashid has also been ordered to pay Medicare more than $ 51 million in restitution, as well as property attributable to the program’s proceeds, including commercial, residential, and Detroit Pistons, to expire on season card membership, according to the Press release.

Rashid pleaded guilty in 2018 to a conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and cable fraud, as well as a money laundering count. 21 other defendants, including 12 doctors, have been convicted so far, including four doctors convicted after a month-long trial in 2020. Rashid is the second defendant to be convicted.