Aroostook County To Receive Over 1 Million Dollars In Opioid Settlement

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:13 PM EDT
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Aroostook County is set to receive more than a million dollars to fight the opioid crisis as part of a nationwide settlement. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.

“The opioid crisis, period, has had a tremendous impact on the state and it has for years.”

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey says as a result of a lawsuit brought on by Maine and several other states against pharmacies, and drug companies a settlement of nearly 100 million dollars will be paid from CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Teva and Allergan to the State of Maine.

“We have been working for years to hold accountable those manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies who not only over prescribed opioid drugs but misrepresented how harmful opioids were. We have secured significant monies to come into the state to help address this opioid crisis. To prevent, to treat, to help recovery efforts.”

Of the 98 million dollar settlement, 50% of it is allocated to the Maine Recovery Fund, 30% allocated to eligible counties, cities and towns and 20% of it to the Attorney General’s office. Aroostook County is set to receive 1,195,593.76 cents. WAGM reached out to Aroostook County Administrator Ryan Pelletier via email who has confirmed that Aroostook County has already received the first payments from the settlement.

“All of this money, regardless of where it goes has to be spent on addressing the opioid crisis, so treatment, recovery, prevention, harm prevention. So it’s so important that we have made sure that this money is going to go to the root source of what is causing so much pain in our communities because of the opioids that were poured in.”

Frey says eligible communities have until April 18th to sign up to receive the payments. The Aroostook County government itself is the only Aroostook county entity listed among the 39 eligible communities. Pelletier says he’s looking forward to seeing what the state’s plans are to determine if there may be an opportunity for a partnership for a greater impact.

Brian Bouchard, Newssource8