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Opioid Settlement Board approves $13.7 million to boost Oregon’s prevention workforce

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Opioid Settlement Prevention, Treatment & Recovery Board has approved a proposal to spend $13.7 million to increase and strengthen the state’s substance use prevention workforce.

Last week, the board approved a proposal from the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission to build Oregon’s workforce capacity for primary substance use disorder prevention by:

  • $9.5 million to counties to strengthen local prevention workforces and evidence-based prevention programs.
  • Nearly $3.8 million to culturally and linguistically specific community organizations and regional health equity coalitions to increase the number of primary prevention initiatives in communities disproportionately impacted by substance use and overdoses.
  • $450,000 to the Oregon Coalition for Prevention Professionals to train and certify up to 100 new certified prevention specialists.

The funding will be sent to the Oregon Health Authority, which will administer the allocations. The Board of Directors’ decision can be viewed here in a recording of the May 8 meeting.

Annaliese Dolph, co-chair of the Settlement Board, said, “The Settlement Board is setting an example for the state with this support for advance prevention. We cannot get out of the addiction crisis. We also need to prevent substance use disorders from occurring in the first place.”

Before any funding is awarded, OHA must engage the partners identified in the ADPC proposal and submit a proposed funding formula and implementation plan to the Board for approval by September 4, 2024. OHA is developing a partner engagement plan to begin this work. .

As of July 2021, the state of Oregon has settled on national lawsuits against several companies for their role in the opioid crisis. These agreements will provide nearly $600 million to Oregon over 18 years. Settlement funds from opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies are split between the state of Oregon (45%) and local jurisdictions (55%).

The state share will be deposited into the Opioid Settlement, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (OSPTR) Fund as it becomes available. This fund is overseen by the 18-member OSPTR board.

Local jurisdictions that receive settlement funds (those with more than 10,000 residents) decide how to use their funds. Cities and counties must report annually to the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) on how they allocated their money. The OHA-DOJ annual expenditure report for the 2022-2023 fiscal year will soon be posted on OHA’s website. The report for the current financial year will be published no later than December 21, 2024.

OHA contracted with Comagine Health to convene a monthly Opioid Settlement Learning Collaborative for local jurisdictions to discuss the allowable use of settlement funds and best practices, including prevention best practices from other local jurisdictions.

OSPTR board assignments to date

During the current fiscal biennium, which ends in June 2025, approximately $89 million will be deposited into the OSPTR Fund. To date, the OSPTR Board has decided on the following allocations:

  • $26.7 million to the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon – equivalent to 30% of all expected funds these two years. This 30% set-aside will continue over the life of the fund as additional settlement payments are made.
  • $13 million to the Save Lives Oregon Harm Reduction Clearinghouse to distribute naloxone and other lifesaving supplies to qualified entities.
  • $4 million to develop a uniform and evidence-based state system for collecting, analyzing, and publishing data on the availability and efficacy of substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services in Oregon, as required by ORS Chapter 63, Section 6 .

For more information about Oregon’s opioid settlement funds, visit oregon.gov/opioidsettlement.