Massachusetts is expected to receive billions of dollars as part of a nationwide settlement with opioid makers over allegations they exacerbated the opioid crisis through marketing and failing to establish adequate oversight and controls. Revere is in line to collect $1.2 million through 2038 to support prevention, treatment and recovery services, city Finance Director Richard Viscay explained to the City Council, which approved creating an Opioid Recovery and Remediation Trust Fund at their last meeting.
“It just makes sense to do this,” said Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo. “The funding is there.”
Throughout the country, opioid overdose deaths have increased by 28 percent over the past year with fentanyl contributing to the increase. Revere has lost 20 to 21 people to overdoses over the past couple of years. Federal investigators recently announced the arrest of four men transporting four kilograms of fentanyl at Northgate Plaza.
Just over $250,000 has been transferred to the new trust fund from the city’s general fund. By establishing the trust fund, the council ensured the money will be spent on the use for which it was intended. Revere has several opioid addiction treatment centers, but now more can be done to get ahead of the problem.
Governor-Elect Maura Healey is continuing to legally pursue opioid makers and distributors and hold them legally and financially accountable for their role in drug addiction and death. She recently announced a proposed $3 billion nationwide settlement reached with Walmart, over allegations that the company contributed to the opioid crisis by failing to properly oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores.
“Companies that contributed to the opioid epidemic need to repair the harm they caused,” said Healey. “That means paying for the treatment, recovery, and support services that families need, and changing business practices to make sure a crisis like this never happens again.”