Public invited to discuss opioid settlement fund strategies

Published 5:07 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023

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From Beaufort County Government:

An upcoming event will give Beaufort County residents and government officials a chance to discuss and provide feedback on the County’s strategic plan for the funds it is receiving from nationwide opioid settlements.

An opioid settlement discussion will be held on Tuesday, June 20, at 9:30 a.m. in the Building 10 conference room on the Beaufort County Community College campus. County residents and local government officials are encouraged to attend.

“Mental and behavioral health is not only a growing issue across the nation, but also right here in Beaufort County,” Health Director JaNell Octigan said. “Opioid settlement dollars are a way to help fund local and community efforts to combat these issues. Community and partnership feedback through this process is vital to ensure we as a whole are meeting the true needs of the community and improving the overall health and well-being of Beaufort County.”

Beaufort County is receiving a combined $3,097,880.12 from two nationwide settlements involving major pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and pharmacy chains. The disbursement of settlement funds to counties and municipalities started in 2022, and the installments will continue through 2038.

In September 2022, the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners approved the Beaufort County 360 Behavioral Health Task Force’s four recommended strategies to be funded with opioid settlement money. Those strategies are:

  • Expanding peer support services throughout Beaufort County.
  • Prevention through health education, with a focus on K-12.
  • Maintaining the Behavioral Health Task Force Collaborative.
  • Pilot community projects targeting substance misuse and/or prevention in Beaufort County.