DHS surveying to decide how to distribute $8 million in opioid settlement funds

Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)
Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 3:20 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2023 at 3:21 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is asking Wisconsinites to share their thoughts on how to best distribute $8 million in settlement money from an opioid lawsuit.

The public will be able to include their thoughts in a survey of how the legislature should allocate the funds, whether it be through supporting existing or new projects and programs in Wisconsin, according to DHS.

Officials from DHS said it will look to the public’s feedback to build a plan.

“The responses we received from the public and partners during listening sessions last year reminded us that addressing opioid use disorder in communities is not one-size-fits- all,” Paul Krupski, DHS Director of Opioid Initiatives said.

The first round of funds was distributed last year, and payments will continue for the next 18 years from the major pharmaceutical companies Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen, as well as the next nine years from Johnson & Johnson.

Attorney General Josh Kaul said the funds would be used to combat the opioid epidemic in the state.

“Input from those impacted by the epidemic will help maximize the good that these funds can do for Wisconsinites,” Kaul said.

According to DHS, it is required to submit a spending plan to the Joint Committee on Finance every year. In 2022, the plan included funds to support data collection and surveillance, prevention, harm reduction, treatment, recovery, capital projects and funding for tribal nations.

DHS said the next round of funding could go to programs similar as 2022, or something new completely. The public can make their reservations in the survey through Feb. 17. It is available in English and Spanish.

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