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Input Sought from Lewis County Residents for Opioid Settlement Fund Survey

 

Published: May 01, 2024 at 08:00 p.m.

By: Press Release from Lewis County Office of Community Services

 

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Input Wanted from Lewis County Residents for Opioid Settlement Fund Survey

 

LOWVILLE, NY – The Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Subcommittees of the Lewis County Community Services Board is seeking community input on how best to use funds distributed to the County from recent Opioid Settlements. A survey is now open for residents of Lewis County to make recommendations for the funds and help the subcommittees better understand how this ongoing public health crisis is impacting our community.

 

Lewis County joined a class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies in 2018. The suit alleged that opioid manufacturers caused the opioid crisis through deceptive marketing practices, misrepresenting that opioids had a low risk of addiction and touting benefits without disclosing the medication’s risks. Lewis County will receive roughly $900,000 in settlement funds from various drug makers and distributors over the next 16 years.

 

The Local Government Unit (LGU) or Community Services Department is expected to work with stakeholders, the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Support, the federal government, and the pharmaceutical companies to determine how best to utilize opioid settlement funds to address local needs. The LGU has tasked the Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Subcommittees with determining best use of the funds and next steps. The Subcommittees include elected officials, healthcare workers, substance use and mental health providers, and individuals with lived experiences.

 

The results of this survey will be used by the Subcommittees to determine priority areas for a grant program that will focus on saving lives and reducing the impact of opioids and opioid use disorder on the people of Lewis County. “The survey is an important step to building community trust and quality services. Understanding local needs will help providers develop programs with them in mind,” said Mark Waterhouse, Assistant Director Community Operations – Housing for Transitional Living Services of Northern New York, Inc., and chair of the Mental Health Subcommittee.

 

Community Services Deputy Director Anna Platz added, “Lewis County is committed to working with our community partners to distribute the opioid settlement funds in a meaningful way. We would like thank Lewis County residents in advance for responding to the survey and providing us with their honest feedback on this deeply personal matter.”

 

To access the survey, please click the link above or scan the QR code. The survey will be open from May 1 – May 31, 2024.

 

 

 

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