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The Opioid Epidemic

The following information was written and provided by the Mat-Su Borough


Opioid lawsuit and settlements

The opioid epidemic has affected many lives in Alaska and across the nation. In 2021 alone there were 160 deaths in Alaska from opioid overdose and across our nation there were 106,699 opioid overdose deaths that year. The severe impact of the epidemic compelled many states to sue several distributors, manufacturers, and pharmacies involved in distributing prescription opioids. Settlements were reached in most lawsuits and settlements funds are being distributed to States and municipalities across America to help remediate the effects of the opioid epidemic. The funds must be spent on opioid remediation. As a result of the settlement, the Mat-Su Borough anticipates receiving multi-year payments from litigants totaling approximately $2.3 million over an 18-year period.

opioid remediation

This means community actions involved in any of the four following areas relating to the opioid epidemic...

  1. Primary Prevention: training through programs in schools, expanding training of first responders, and training of community support groups on prevention. Education and training on the prevention of overprescribing and misuse of opioid programs.

  2. Harm Reduction: Education on the availability of Naloxone and other related drugs for emergency treatment of an opioid overdose or possible overdose. Training for properly administering Naloxone injections.

  3. Treatment: Connecting people who need help to providing organizations. Address the needs of specific populations, such as homeless, criminal justice-involved persons, pregnant or parenting women, and families of addicted residents.

  4. Recovery: Education and training support for recovery treatment and recovery support services which integrates with support services.

needs assessment in the borough

Our task is to determine what the greatest needs are for opioid remediation in the Borough and we need public input to do that. This effort will consist of three public-participation meetings, a public survey, and a committee of experts participating in the public meetings to help prioritize the Borough's needs. Those results will be presented to the Borough Assembly for consideration/approval for how to spend the funds.

public meeting schedule
  • April 26th, 2023 - Palmer Assembly Chambers - 350 E. Dahlia Ave, Palmer Alaska

  • May 18th, 2023 - Willow Community Center - Mile 69, Parks Highway, Willow Alaska

  • May 25th, 2023 - Curtis Menard Sports Center - 1001 S. Clapp St., Wasilla Alaska

Needs-Assessment survey

We are having public meetings and a public survey to determine what the greatest need for this funding is here in the Mat-Su. While all four of the remediation areas are important, which of these areas do you feel is the greatest need in the Borough? You may complete the survey following this link:

There is only one question: what is your priority order for the four areas of opioid remediation needs in the Mat-Su Borough?

Next steps

When the needs assessment is complete, the Borough will advertise the Assembly-approved list of needs and seek applications from qualifying Mat-Su organizations for potential grants. The Borough will receive and vet the applications and disperse the grants. The recipient organizations will be required to follow up with reports on how they spent the funds and the resulting outcomes, if quantifiable.

George Hayes

Deputy Manager

Mat-Su Borough

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