(WTNH) – Connecticut is getting its first payment from a landmark settlement with opioid distributors. That $11 million will go to cities and towns in the hopes of combatting this crisis.
Connecticut will get about $300 million over the next 18 years. That’s in addition to the money the state will receive from other settlements, including the one with Purdue Pharma announced just a few months ago.
Families impacted by the opioid epidemic, know firsthand how critical resources are to address this crisis.
“I will not stop, and neither will Liz until we see a dent. Because right now, it’s going in the opposite direction,” said Christine Gagnon.
Christine Gagnon and Liz Fitzgerald, both of Southington, lost their sons, Michael, Matthew, and Kyle, to fatal overdoses.
They were with Attorney General William Tong in Waterbury on Monday as he announced money from a landmark settlement with opioid distributors is now making its way to Connecticut.
“Looking forward to some positivity coming out of this and also to get some help,” Fitzgerald said.
Connecticut will get about $300 million from the $26 billion settlement. By the end of the year, the state will see about $26 million with the rest spread out over 18 years.
“This money will go to abatement, abating the opioid addiction crisis. It will go to treatment, prevention, and addiction science,” Tong said.
When it comes to where the money will go, it will directly aid cities and towns across the state. In Waterbury, Mayor Neil O’Leary says they’ll be receiving $73,000 this year.
“All of us know that education has to be infused with these dollars to make our families aware of what’s happening out there,” O’Leary said.
While they say this is a big step, state leaders and the families say they’ll only continue this fight and do what they can to hold people accountable and provide comfort to those who are also struggling.
“It does give me hope and it’s the first time it’s given me hope in a long time,” Gagnon said.
This crisis has deepened with the number of fatal overdoses continuing to climb.