Posted Monday, April 11, 2022.

HUNTINGTON – The City of Huntington opted back into the Indiana Opioid Settlement agreement with a unanimous vote cast by City Council members on March 29.

City Council Resolution 2-R-22 undoes a 2021 resolution opting out of the state’s agreement over worries regarding the settlement amounts the State of Indiana and local governments would receive to combat the cycle of opioid abuse and overdoses.

“We opted out of the settlement last year because of concerns shared by many other local governments across the state of Indiana. I am grateful that our legislators in the Statehouse worked to address these concerns,” Huntington Mayor Richard Strick said. “Because of those negotiations, Indiana will receive a larger settlement amount and local governments will receive more of those dollars than under the previous agreement.”

The City of Huntington will be developing a plan to utilize settlement funds for prevention and recovery programs, the mayor said. The terms of the Indiana Opioid Settlement and the amount local governments are set to receive are not yet final.

Huntington is one of several communities to rejoin Indiana’s settlement with opioid distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson after initially opting out of the deal. The statewide settlement worth an estimated $507 million is part of roughly $26 billion these distributors and Johnson & Johnson will pay nationwide in the wake of the national opiate crisis.

Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed a new state law that addresses the concerns of Indiana communities that opted out, upping the amount directed to municipalities to spend on drug treatment and prevention programs from 15 percent of the final statewide agreement to 35 percent.

“Addiction recovery is serious work. It will take all of us doing our part and applying data-driven solutions to reducing overdoses and helping our loved ones break destructive cycles,” Mayor Strick said.