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Opioid settlement to bring millions of dollars for treatment & prevention

Stock photo of pills spilling out of three prescription drug bottles.
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Millions of dollars from a national settlement with opioid distributors are expected to flow into the state soon. The funds will go toward treatment services, prevention and other efforts to combat the opioid pandemic.

A 10-member board will manage money from the $26 billion national settlement with drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and other drug distributors. The board will oversee how the state and local governments spend the roughly $80 million they are projected to receive over the next 18 years.

Counties with larger population centers will appoint three members to the board and groups of more rural counties will appoint two members. The remaining five seats will be appointed by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and state health department director Charlie Brereton.

It’s unclear when the first settlement payments will be sent out.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.