Texas could receive $1.5 billion to help fight the opioid crisis

Local News

LUBBOCK, TX — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced last week that Texas could receive $1.5 billion from a historic settlement involving the nation’s top pharmaceutical companies.

The money would go towards providing relief to those in Texas struggling with addiction 

“We’ve all seen the devastation in our community,” said Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish. 

According to Paxton, 93,000 people died in 2020 from opioid overdoses, almost 30 percent more than in 2019.

But the money from this global opioid settlement might soon be coming to Texas to change that.

“It will be good to be able to see some of that recovered loss. Like I said, it’s too early to determine what that’s going to be. But once that money does come we will make sure that it’s sent to the people of Lubbock County to help us in fighting these opioid addictions,” said Parrish. 

The agreement totals $26 billion and includes Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, as well as Johnson & Johnson, which helped to manufacture and market the opioids. 

Based on a new law recently passed by the Texas legislature, the $1.5 billion Texas could receive from the agreement would go to providing treatment for addiction, treatment medication and alternatives, as well as education and prevention.

“I always believe that education and treatment is how we deal with this. That our kids know that first of all, you don’t want to start this,” said Parrish. 

But as of now, Texas still has to decide if it wants to join the agreement. That will determine how much money is given to the state and its cities.

“There will be a formula set by the state on how much money Lubbock County will receive,” said Parrish. 

Judge Parrish says money isn’t the answer to heal the damage already done, but it would help Texas fight this crisis nonetheless.

“If we are looking at this money to ease the suffering of a family that has lost a loved one it won’t be enough money, but what we can do is use this to keep that next family from not burying their loved one because of opioids,” said Parrish. 

Texas has less than 30 days to decide if it wants to be a part of the settlement and the actual amount cities receive could vary based on participation of those cities.

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