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MDHHS releases plan for initial opioids settlement funds

LANSING, Mich. – State and local governments in Michigan have received the initial payments of the nearly $800 million the state will receive over 18 years as part of the $26 billion nationwide settlement with the three largest pharmaceutical distributors, as well as opioid manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has been authorized to spend $39.2 million of the initial settlement payment to the state. MDHHS will use the funding to continue to support evidence-based programming, including for treatment providers, recovery supports, harm-reduction strategies, prevention programming and other organizations that support individuals with substance use disorders. 

“In Michigan, we are using this long-term funding to address the multi-generational impact of the opioid epidemic as well as address racial disparities that exist as part of the opioids crisis,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “Settlement dollars will allow us to invest in supports, improvements and enhancements to further our efforts to decrease substance use disorders, improve treatment options and improve recovery success.”

As part of the plan, MDHHS will use the opioids settlement dollars to expand capacity for treatment. This includes reviewing barriers that can’t be addressed with federal funding, such as provider workforce capacity and expansion of treatment facility infrastructure.

Additional information regarding proposed programming efforts is provided in the Opioids Settlement: FY2023 Spend Plan. MDHHS will share more detailed information as funding is allocated to programs in the near future.

According to a joint statementfrom Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, 50% of the settlement amount will be sent directly to county and local governments. A breakdown of how the settlement money is to be spent on opioid treatment and prevention is available here.

Additional information about the opioids settlement is available on the Department of Attorney General'swebsite.

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