One of the most common questions we’re asked is: What’s going on with the opioid settlement?
Until now, the answer has been: Nobody knows.
Now, for the first time, Harm Reduction Ohio can start to answer that question. On Friday, journalist Aneri Pattani of KFF Health News reported details on every payment every local government in Ohio has received so far. (See her report here.)
Harm Reduction Ohio used this reporting to create a list of the 200+ local governments receiving the biggest settlement payments so far. Next week, we will add every local Ohio government to the list — even small ones.
So far, about 800 local governments have been paid sharing $41.5 million. Our Top 200 list documents where 92% of that money went. Local governments will get 30% of Ohio’s opioid settlement: about $600 million of the $2 billion to be paid over 18 years. The rest will go to the state of Ohio, regional boards and lawyers.
Six settlement payments from two settlements have arrived so far. That’s about 7% of what local governments will receive over time. Settlements from CVS, Walmart, PurduePharma and others have yet to arrive. (See list below or here.)
How much each local government gets is determined based on a formula that includes population and overdose death. As you can imagine, the amount governments receive vary widely — $2.5 million for Franklin County government vs. $47,860 for Vinton County government.
How has the money been so far? That’s a mystery. Almost nothing is known about actual spending. From talking to local governments, it seems hardly anything has been been spent so far. Most cash is sitting in the bank, earning interest and waiting to be put into action.
Opportunity to do good
Let’s put this money to good use! Find out how much money your local government has received and get involved in spending it wisely.
Talk to your mayor, city council members, county commissioners, village manager. They need your expertise. Many will welcome it!
The money can be used for evidence-based efforts to reduce overdose death and other harms caused by opioids. (A detailed list from the settlement can be found here.)
Local settlement money is the best opportunity for the impacted population to make a difference with monetary compensation paid for our suffering. This is especially true in Ohio’s small cities and towns where personal relationships matter. Think big — and small!
Show me the money
Some examples of what local governments have received to date
- Ashtabula County — $321,000
- Butler County — $1,158,737
- Chillicothe — $134,202
- Euclid — $40,377
- Gallipolis Village — $11,339
- Lima — $74,381
- Montgomery County — $2,223,740
- Piqua — $23,378
- Warren — $151,573
- Youngstown — $247,667
- Zanesville — $59,049
Remember the amounts listed are for each government, not for a geographic area. Try to get funds from multiple jurisdictions: county, city, township, village.
Hamilton County commissioners have received $2,523,242 so far. Separately, Cincinnati’s city government got $828,260. Many Cincinnati suburbs in Hamilton County got money too — Blue Ash ($36,681), Colerain Township ($60,199), Springdale ($28,770); and so on.
Think big — and small! Coordinate efforts, resources and money. Partner with others.
The opioid settlement provides new money — dollars not committed to other things — the money will arrive, year after year, for many years.
Acting early is when you can make the biggest, most lasting difference. Check the list to see how much your local government has received. Then, start working to make sure it is spent wisely!