State seeks ideas for $8M in opioid settlement funds

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is asking the public to share thoughts on how to use a second round of opioid settlement funds to provide guidance on where money should be spent to reduce harms associated with opioid use disorder. Approximately $8 million will be available to support existing or new projects and programs in communities across Wisconsin. People can make their recommendations in a survey now through Feb. 17. The survey is available in English and Spanish.

In 2022, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) announced final approval of an agreement with the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors — Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen — and Johnson & Johnson. Payments from the distributors will continue for 18 years. Payments from Johnson & Johnson will continue for nine years.

While data for 2022 has yet to be finalized, 2021 data shows there were 1,427 opioid overdose deaths in Wisconsin. An increase in overdose deaths can be traced in large part to the addition of fentanyl, a powerful, synthetic drug, in substances like opioids.