NC Attorney General Discusses Opioid Settlement
By Paul B. Johnson
ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
HIGH POINT — The city of High Point will receive $1.3 million and Guilford County will get $21.7 million over nearly two decades as part of the state’s opioid settlement with pharmaceutical companies, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein said during a visit to High Point Wednesday.
Stein discussed the opioid settlement at a briefing that drew local leaders to the offices of Caring Services Inc., the nonprofit that provides comprehensive services to people recovering from substance abuse.
He highlighted the area’s allocation from $26 billion in national opioid settlement funds negotiated last year by state attorneys general.
Stein helped negotiate the agreements with three major pharmaceutical distributors — Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen — as well as Johnson & Johnson.
North Carolina’s local governments have been sent the first and second payments from the settlement. The funds will go toward addressing the opioid epidemic in communities.
North Carolina will receive its full share of $750 million over the next 18 years. Of the statewide total, 85% of the funds will go directly to North Carolina’s local governments to support treatment, recovery, harm reduction and addiction prevention approaches. The remaining 15% will go to the state for the same purposes.
In addition to the $26 billion national deal, the N.C. Attorney General’s Office reached three agreements in principle with other drug makers that total more than $7 billion.
“Companies that fueled the crisis have to be held accountable,” Stein told the audience at Caring Services, which he toured before giving his remarks.
High Point Police Chief Travis Stroud said the opioid crisis has devastated the community, but figures kept by police on overdoses show that local efforts may be making a difference.
There had been 1,100 overdoses from 2017 to 2021 in High Point, or an average of 220 a year. So far this year there have been 150, a slightly slower pace, Stroud told the audience.
From 2018 to 2022 there were 91 overdose deaths, but so far this year there have been just five, he said.
During his visit, Stein praised Caring Services for the determination and innovation of staff and volunteers addressing the opioid crisis. Stein’s visit to High Point is part of a series of briefings he’s conducted across the state.
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