Johnson County receives first opioid settlement distribution
Johnson County has now received its first distribution of funds from the national opioid settlement. The $113,560 was received on July 8. On Thursday, July 22, the Board of County Commissioners approved a process by which the county can receive this and future distributions. These funds require a special account.
“We anticipate these funds will be used for projects and activities that prevent or reduce, treat or mitigate the effects of substance abuse addiction,” said Deputy County Manager Maury Thompson.
In December 2021, the county entered into the Kansas Opioid Memorandum of Understanding after previously pursuing separate litigation against the pharmaceutical industry for perpetuating the opioid epidemic. The MOU allows the county to join the national settlement and receive funds from the Kansas Fights Addiction Fund and the Municipalities Fight Addiction Fund.
Although jurisdictions across the country are party to litigation and settlements, this MOU gives the county the best possible chance of maximizing settlement funds to address the effects of the crisis.
Several Johnson County departments have responded to the epidemic by serving residents with this form of substance use, including Johnson County Mental Health Center, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson County Corrections and MED-ACT.
Opioid settlement distributions are expected to continue coming into the county over the next 18 years and could total more than $3 million.
Read a briefing sheet from the July 21 BOCC meeting about the board action. Learn more about the opioid epidemic in Johnson County by listening to a January 2022 JoCo on the Go podcast episode.
Visit the JCMHC webpage to access help regarding this and other forms of substance use.