Gem State Roundup

Idaho’s take from opioid settlements is now over $26 million

By: - October 24, 2022 2:26 pm
pill bottle

In 2018, Idaho providers prescribed opioids to 61 out of every 100 persons, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. (Getty Images)

Idaho has received more than $26 million in opioid settlement funds, according to Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

The state last week received its final payment for this year. Wasden anticipates Idaho will receive a total of $128 million by the year 2040 as the state’s share of proceeds from three legal settlements and one bankruptcy. Potential future settlements could provide additional money, Wasden said in a press release.

The money is distributed to regional public health districts, cities, counties and state coffers. It can be used only for the purpose of fighting opioid addiction.

The distributions so far:

  • $12.1 million to the state
  • $5.8 million to Idaho’s seven public health districts
  • $8.1 million to cities and counties

“The payments we’ve received thus far allow state, regional and local governments to begin implementing the programs that will ultimately help our state recover from the addiction crisis,” Wasden said.

There are several ways for agencies and governments to use the money to combat Idaho’s opioid epidemic.

The funds can be spent on:

  • treatment of opioid use disorder
  • opioid abuse prevention
  • overdose and death prevention
  • supporting people who are in addiction treatment or recovery
  • screening and referral programs for people who need treatment
  • programs for people with opioid use disorder who are going through the criminal justice system
  • addressing opioid use in pregnancy
  • combating over-prescription and inappropriate opioid prescribing
  • research and training

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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Dutton hails from Twin Falls. She attended college at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, data visualization and more.

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