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Oklahoma to dole out $23 million in first round of opioid lawsuit settlement funds

FILE - Oxycodone pills are shown, June 17, 2019. On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, CVS Health said it has agreed to pay about $5 billion to state, local and Native American tribal governments to settle lawsuits over the toll of opioids. CVS is not admitting wrongdoing and the company would make the payments over a decade. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Keith Srakocic
Oxycodone pills

Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced the Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Board will begin awarding eligible groups money to counteract some impacts from the opioid epidemic.

The nine-member board, which includes the AG, is awarding the money from opioid lawsuit settlement funds. Those settlement funds are stored in a fund created by the State Treasury for the Office of the Attorney General, designated as the Oklahoma Opioid Abatement Revolving Fund.

The grants will be awarded to eligible groups such as: Oklahoma counties, incorporated municipalities, public school districts, technology school districts or other groups.

Before those eligible are awarded, they have to first submit a letter of intent to the board.

This marks the first distribution of the funds for the board, which was established three years ago. Oklahoma has beenawarded nearly a billion dollars in opioid settlement funds.

The grants will be used for projects such as treatment and recovery programs, assistance with co-occurring disorders and mental health issues, opioid abuse education and prevention. The full list of approved uses can be foundhere.

Drummond said in a press release he’s eager for the money to begin being distributed.

“Oklahoma’s opioid epidemic continues to exact a devastating toll on our people,” he said. “Addiction and abuse do not discriminate. Oklahomans of all walks are threatened by the menace of opioids, particularly fentanyl. It is critical that we maximize these available funds by getting them to where they can be most effective.”

Interested parties have 30 days to send a required letter of intent to the abatement board if they pursue the grants. Those letters have to be sent no later than 5 p.m. on Sept. 27.

Those letters can be submitted via email to oab@oag.ok.gov.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

Kateleigh Mills joined KOSU in March 2018, following her undergraduate degree completion from the University of Central Oklahoma in December 2017.
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