COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — Attorney General Dave Yost held a news conference Thursday to announce the forthcoming agreement with opioid distributors that could give some much needed relief to communities across Ohio.
As of Aug. 17, 135 of the 143 litigating local governments had signed on to OneOhio – a total representing more than 96% of the population within the litigating subdivisions. The remaining 4 percent had until Aug. 20 to join in.
According to Yost, the rising support for the agreement with Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen makes the $808 million settlement a “real possibility.”
If awarded, 15 percent of the settlement will go to the state for legal fees, 30 percent will go to community recovery programs and 55 percent will support the OneOhio Foundation to continue work in the opioid epidemic.
Non-profit Families of Addicts Executive Director Anita Kitchen says they anticipate this money having a major impact especially in Montgomery County.
“Obviously what we did after 2017 made an impact because numbers did go down but with numbers going back up we need to start working together again, thinking outside the box of how we can solve this problem,” said Kitchen.
With $808 million flowing through Ohio, Kitchen says they probably won’t see a dollar. She says a large portion of small non-profits don’t qualify for government assistance due to credential restrictions but Montgomery County needs their assistance and new ideas.
“National studies have shown if you can go five-years of staying clean, there’s an 85-percent chance you’ll stay clean, that is significant,” said Kitchen. “So, if we can help people in treatment centers within 6-to-9 months, maybe a year, what can we do for that stretch to 5 years to stay clean.”
Yost says money could start flowing as early as this November.