The Sullivan County Legislature on Thursday adopted an opioid settlement plan that lays out how the monies received from Johnson & Johnson opioid settlement will be used.
By: Patricio Robayo
The county received a one-time settlement payment of three hundred seventy-seven thousand earlier this year and potentially can see up to 5 million over the coming years as more and more opioid settlements are handled in court.
According to the Sullivan County attorney, Mike McGuire, fifty percent of the monies received will go towards prevention and recovery programs, while the remaining fifty percent will be unrestricted.
John Liddle, Sullivan County Commissioner of Health & Family Services, said opioid education programming would be ready to launch starting next year.
“We have harm reduction tools in the budget. We have support for hope, not handcuffs; we have support for law enforcement to reduce the supply of available drugs in our community, money in there to support our social workers, maintaining their certifications, to be able to provide the services and incentivize more people that come into the field, pretty comprehensive,” said Liddle.
Nadia Rajsz, Sullivan County Legislator for District 2, did have one question before the board adopted the plan.
“None of the money’s going to any trivial items? It’s all going to be used to focus on opioids?” asked Rajsz.
Liddle responded by saying yes, “Because I spent a lot of time on it together with the rest of the team.”
Sullivan County Chairman Rob Doherty asked Liddle if he was happy with the plan and how the money is going to be used.
“Are you happy as a commissioner with this plan?” asked Doherty.
Liddle said, “I wrote it, so I better be.”