Opioid Settlement Expected to Arrive this June in Nebraska

May 4, 2022, 4 p.m. ·

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Opioids have killed hundreds of thousands in the U.S., according to the CDC. (Photo courtesy of pexels.com)

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Nebraska’s Opioid Settlement Committee will decide how to spend the state’s $100 million in opioid addiction relief money.

The money came from settlements made by opioid manufacturers and distributors with the federal government.

Local officials and private health professionals comprise the Opioid Settlement Committee. It will allocate part of the funds to Nebraska counties and cities. A larger portion - almost half of the money - will be sent to the six mental health regions in Nebraska. The counties, cities, and mental health regions make the final decision on how their funds will be spent, but the state committee sets recommendations.

Josh Shasserre with the state attorney general’s office, outlined the possible uses of the money at this week’s meeting. He said adding mental health professionals to small communities could be a part of the committee’s plan.

“Where communities don’t have sufficient resources to address the problem about that being - opioid misuse disorder or other substance abuse problems, and their co-occurring mental health issues,” Shasserre said.

Shasserre said the settlement is expected to arrive this summer.

In 2018, 35 percent of drug overdose deaths in Nebraska stemmed from opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Nebraska’s doing much better than the rest of the nation where almost 70 percent of overdoses - more than 46,000 deaths in 2018 - involved opioids.

The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for June 7th.