Opioid Abatement Council
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About the CouncilThe formation of the Opioid Abatement Council is a proactive response to the impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Pierce County and the greater Puget Sound area. This epidemic, originating in the 1990s, has progressed into its 'third wave,' characterized by a surge in overdose deaths linked to synthetic opioids, notably illicitly manufactured fentanyl.
Pierce County is set to receive $29 million in funding from various opioid settlements over the next 17 years, with the broader region anticipating a total of $48 million. These settlements result from the misleading marketing by opioid manufacturers, who falsely portrayed opioids as non-addictive pain management solutions.
On June 20, the Pierce County Council took action by passing Resolution No. R2023-91, authorizing the establishment of the Pierce County Opioid Abatement Council through an Interlocal Agreement (ILA). The ILA unites cities, towns, and subject matter experts to ensure the effective utilization of allocated funds in addressing the opioid epidemic. The OAC's primary areas of focus include addiction treatment programs and educational campaigns about the risks of opioid abuse.
The OAC comprises representatives from each participating party, appointed by their respective governing bodies for three-year terms. Administrative oversight of the council falls under the purview of the Pierce County Auditor's Office, which calculates and distributes administrative expenses equitably among the parties based on the settlement fund distribution formula.
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