Why Opioid Settlement Money Is Paying County Employees’ Salaries

More than $4.3 billion in opioid settlement funds have been distributed to city, county, and state officials, with more to come. However, some places are using the money to replace existing funding instead of adding necessary treatment and prevention services. Critics argue that this approach is not addressing the ongoing addiction crisis effectively. A debate on how to use the funds is taking place in Scott County, Indiana, where settlement money has been allocated for salaries, ambulance purchase, and creating a rainy-day fund. Several states have restrictions on using settlement funds for existing spending, but some places are still doing it.

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