Caresse Jackman is a video reporter for InvestigateTV. Scotty Smith is the video editor.
When three teenagers died of fentanyl overdoses last year in Larimer County, Colorado, it shocked the community and “flipped families upside down,” said Tom Gonzales, the county’s public health director.
Naloxone is a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses. Community groups taught teens how to use the medication. But officials from the county and schools wanted to do even more.
That’s when they turned to opioid settlement funds — money coming from national deals with health care companies like Johnson & Johnson, AmerisourceBergen, and CVS, which were accused of fueling the epidemic via prescription painkillers. Over 18 years, the companies will pay out more than 50 billion dollars to state and local governments.
A large portion of this money will be used to treat addiction and reduce drug trafficking. Some of the money is being used to fund school-based prevention programmes to prevent addiction from occurring. Some school districts that filed their own lawsuits and became part of national settlements receive direct payments. In some cases, local or state governments…