Ohio recovery front line workers are hopeful the Opioid Settlement Funds will provide relief for so many patients in need of quality recovery housing. A primary barrier to even beginning treatment is the lack of safe housing. The team at Sunstone is following the Opioid Settlement Funds updates closely. They understand the extent of the recovery housing gap in Hamilton County.
On February 25, 2022, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and the “big three” distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health finalized a $26 billion opioid settlement agreement to resolve their liabilities in over 3,000 opioid crisis-related suits nationwide.
Today, every 15 minutes someone overdoses and dies from opioids. While we have made strides in access to treatment and access to Narcan, we still have gaps to fill. The barrier to recovery housing is exacerbated because of the lack of quality in recovery housing. Moreover, the generational domino effect will continue growing if more changes aren’t made.
“Ohio’s families and communities have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “While nothing can make whole the losses sustained by Ohioans who have been affected by opioids, it is welcome news that the first payments are going out this week to local governments.”
While the opioid epidemic was looming and booming over the last several years, an umbrella epidemic was developing. The addiction epidemic is what the opioid crisis has evolved into. While we still see high opioid overdose rates, we also see stimulant and alcohol use holding steady and even increasing.
While no one can disagree that the settlement should go toward impacting the opioid epidemic, the largest gaps in supporting those with substance use disorders should be the priority. Recovery housing for individuals, and for families, is clearly one of the major challenges today. Without an improvement in the quality and quantity of recovery housing, we will continue to struggle with the addiction epidemic and opioid crisis.