LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada is set to receive $285 million to help in the fight against the opioid epidemic over the next two decades.
The funds are part of a $26 billion settlement from major drugmaker Johnson and Johnson for their role in the ongoing epidemic.
Garrett Hade told 8 News Now’s Joe Moeller that he was prescribed opioids for pain after a crash years ago, and has been in recovery for the last 7 years.
“I had no idea the devastation my life would become,” Hade said. “That one prescription with Vicodin started when I was 17 years old turned into a 10-year opioid battle, becoming homeless, losing family, losing jobs.”
Hade hopes to see the money go toward helping people in the community.
“Start investing in housing, employment support, peer recovery support services,” he continued.
According to opioid addiction experts, this money was a long time coming.
“These organizations and companies knew exactly what they were doing in the marketing of these products, the distribution of these products, the manufacturing of these products, the reality of this is countless Nevadan families have been torn apart,” recovery expert with the Foundation for Recovery Sean O’Donnell said.
Although the money can help in a number of ways, especially with addiction recovery efforts, the state has not exactly announced how the money will be distributed.
“We are lacking resources, I am hoping that some of the funding will go towards establishing good treatment options and good recovery support, and harm reduction measures,” O’Donnell continued.
O’Donnell stated that making recovery efforts more known and easier to access would help, especially in rural areas of the state.
According to the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), all overdose deaths were up from 418 deaths in 2019 to 560 in 2020, primarily driven by fentanyl.