County commissioners discuss opioid settlement

The Moore County Commissioners met Tuesday night.

Moore County Attorney Misty Leland reported the second wave of an opioid settlement. The opioid settlement was an agreement between drug companies and pharmacies concerning the marketing and abuse of opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs that includes the illegal drug heroin and powerful pain relievers available by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and many others.

The second settlement, of which $600 million will go to North Carolina, brings the total settlement amount to over $54 billion nationwide. Of the settlement funds, 15% will go to the state, with 84.68% divided by the 100 counties in North Carolina and the 17 largest municipalities. The reminding amount will be used to pay local council fees. The settlement will be paid out over 18 years.

The settlement will have to be approved by all the parties involved. According to Moore County Manager Wayne Vest, the first payment from the opioid settlement should be available in May. With that in mind, the commissioners were asked what areas to use the funds for.

The original task force recommended 12 possible uses of the funds:

Collaborative strategic planning;

Evidence-based addiction treatment;

Recovery support services;

Recovery housing support;

Employment-related services;

Early intervention;

Naloxone distribution;

Post-overdose response team;

Syringe Service Program;

Criminal justice diversion programs;

Addiction treatment for incarcerated persons;

Reentry programs.

Moore County staff sent requests to 40 organizations asking for feedback on the best use of the funds. Thirty-two responded and recommended five areas where the funds would be best used:

Evidence-based addiction treatment;

Early intervention;

Recovery support services;

Collaborative strategic planning;

Recovery housing support.

In 2021, 30 Moore County residents died of an overdose. Since 1975, Samaritan Colony has used evidence-based treatment to help individuals struggling with addiction. Click on the link to enable Samaritan Colony to continue their work by making a donation:

The commissioners will take up the specifics and issue a request for funding requests at their March 9 meeting.

In other business, the commissioners approved a partnership with Partners in Progress and the Town of Aberdeen to develop an industrial property called Iron Horse Property in Aberdeen.

The agreement calls for Moore County and Aberdeen to each loan Partners in Progress $200,000 to acquire the land. The deal includes a 4% interest rate to be repaid over 15 years.

The commissioners approved the proposal. Aberdeen will discuss the issue at their next meeting in early March.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice. Contact him at [email protected].


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