PORTLAND, Ore. – Two key resources in Oregon for preventing and treating substance use disorder and overdose will receive a total of $17 million over the next two years, thanks to a March 1 vote from the Opioid Settlement Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Board (OSPTR Board).
“Oregon’s share of the national opioid settlement funds is intended to provide better tracking of substance use disorder and support harm-reduction programs — which have never been more vital than in this time of accelerating fentanyl-driven overdoses,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “I am grateful to know the Board has designated the first allocations of these funds for these purposes.”
An allocation of $4 million funds the development of a unified statewide data system to collect, analyze and publish data on substance use prevention, treatment and recovery services, with a focus on their availability and effectiveness.
The remaining $13 million goes toward the Save Lives Oregon (SLO) Harm Reduction Clearinghouse to keep people alive and support safer communities. This ensures SLO’s ability to provide lifesaving supplies to entities and local harm-reduction programs. These may include:
- Overdose prevention supplies such as naloxone
- Wound care supplies
- Safer-use supplies for people who use drugs
- Personal containers specifically for needles and sharp items
These tools support statewide harm reduction practices, which are effective strategies that lower drug-related harms, including overdose deaths and infections such as HIV and hepatitis C.
These supplies come at no cost to qualifying partner organizations that serve people who use drugs. The funds awarded from the Opioid Settlement Board will allow the Harm Reduction Clearinghouse to continue and expand its support for schools, Special Districts and public buildings.
In 2022, the Oregon Legislature created the OSPTR Board, administered by Oregon Health Authority and overseen by a board of health policy experts and state and local government representatives. The board will administer the state’s 45% share of opioid funds exclusively for addressing substance use. The remaining 55% will go to local cities and counties with populations larger than 10,000 people.
The money comes from monumental multi-state settlements in 2022 involving pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and distributors that either produced, sold or distributed opioids. This was the result of a years-long effort by Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) and its investigative team working opioid-related cases.
For the most part, settlements will be paid out over several years, and the state anticipates getting $149.7 million through 2038, all of which goes to the OSPTR fund. Under House Bill 4098, the OSPTR Board can then use that money to support statewide or regional programs identified in settlement agreements or applicable judgments. Additional funding from at least five other opioid-related settlements is anticipated.
Board members will continue discussing both the data system and clearinghouse in upcoming monthly meetings in April, May and June.
To learn more about SLO, visit its official page. Those who are part of an organization looking for harm-reduction resources can apply for the SLO harm-reduction clearinghouse at https://www.savelivesoregon.org/apply-form/.