Drug companies and other corporations that poured opioids into our communities are finally paying some small restitution for all the pain and death they have caused. Lawsuits have been settled, and states and cities are getting payouts from these companies. While no amount of money can make up for the lives we’ve lost, these settlement funds are an opportunity for us to invest in long-term public health solutions. This money represents a unique opportunity for some measure of healing from the devastation.

The people who’ve been most harmed by the opioid crisis should have a say in how this money is spent. We want experts to tell us how to best use these funds, so that we are investing wisely in bright futures for all our communities.

L.D. 1722, a bill the Maine Legislature is considering, sets up a system to administer the opioid settlement funds where they are needed the most. Crucially, people from recovery, harm reduction and treatment communities would be included in deciding how the funds are spent. We need to invest in communities if we want to recover, and we have to listen to people closest to the problem to find the best solutions. I hope the Legislature will listen.


Ryan Paige


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