Cabarrus seeks input on use of opioid settlement funds
Published on January 19, 2024
A brief, anonymous survey is now available for residents to weigh in on distribution priorities in Cabarrus County for more than $20 million in opioid settlement funds.
The survey, managed by Health Management Associates, can be found at https://bit.ly/CabarrusOpioidSurvey and asks about items such as greatest unmet needs, barriers to care and funding priorities. A dropdown is available at the top of the page to toggle between English and Spanish.
The survey takes less than 10 minutes and Cabarrus officials will use the data and input from a variety of local organizations to develop a strategic plan on how best to use funds resulting from a series of national settlement agreements.
Cabarrus County will receive about $21 million of the $1.5 billion scheduled to go to North Carolina.
“Public input is a crucial part of shaping the future of fund use, and in turn the future of Cabarrus County,” said Assistant County Manager Aalece Pugh. “We’re asking anyone who has been impacted by the opioid crisis to participate and help us allocate resources in ways that will truly benefit the community.”
The state funds are allocated based on where the opioid crisis was most severe. Factors include number of pills dispensed, number of opioid overdose deaths and number of residents suffering from opioid use disorder. The funds are required to be used to support treatment, recovery, harm reduction and other life-saving programs and services.
Opioids include prescription pain relievers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxymorphone and morphine. The synthetic drug fentanyl is also an opioid, along with heroin.
Cabarrus is expected to receive its allocation over the next 18 years. In the first year of distribution, Cabarrus received nearly $1.4 million. For the current fiscal year, the amount was $3.1 million. For next fiscal year (beginning July 1, 2024), the amount is $1.6 million.
The settlement has a memorandum of agreement that requires planning and board authorization like all government budget items, according to Pugh.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or mental health concerns, free/confidential help is always available by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or calling/texting 988 or chatting at 988lifeline.org.
If you are seeking a substance use or mental health crisis provider in Cabarrus County, call 1-888-235-4673.
Visit https://bit.ly/CabarrusOpioidSurvey to participate in the survey.