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News / Health / Clark County Health

Clark County governments to receive combined $33 million from opioid litigations

Local governments in Washington to get combined $55 million from settlements

By William Seekamp, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 20, 2024, 6:18pm

Local governments in Clark County and across Washington received a combined $55 million to combat the opioid epidemic. The money comes from litigation resolutions between the state and opioid distributors, manufacturers and national pharmacy chains.

A bulk of the March money came from a one-time payment from Walmart, according to a news release from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

The attorney general’s office has so far recovered more than $1.2 billion for the state to address the opioid crisis. Washington will receive nearly $500 million from the national resolutions to go to local jurisdictions; the rest will go to the state Legislature. The funds must be used to combat the opioid epidemic, the news release states.

This $55 million amounts to half the companies’ payment to Washington this month.

Clark County
Clark County 4.5149775326% $22,298,119.54
Battle Ground 0.1384729857% $683,876.53
Camas 0.2691592724% $1,329,296.90
Vancouver 1.7306605325% $8,547,213.17
Washougal 0.1279328220% $631,821.83
Clark County total 6.7812031452% $33,490,327.97

Clark County received $2.15 million from the March money, bringing the total funds received to $3.57 million with about $19 million more to go, according to a chart provided by the attorney general’s office.

Joni McAnally, a spokeswoman for the county, said in an email that the March funds may go to establish and staff a regional opioid abatement council to oversee the fund allocations in the region, and develop and maintain a dashboard with information on fund allocations, distributions and expenditures, among other priorities.

Currently reviewing submissions, the Clark County Opioid Abatement Council will select organizations to receive funding from the opioid litigation. The contracting process is expected to start on or after April 10, McAnally said.

Vancouver will receive 1.73 percent of the state’s $500 million being sent to local governments, equal to roughly $8.5 million, according to the attorney general’s office.

“To date, the city has received $1,230,069.78. We have it in a restricted fund, by itself, so we can properly account and track this highly visible revenue stream,” Tim Becker, a city spokesman, said in an email.

The Vancouver City Attorney’s Office is working with outside counsel on the city’s settlement portion, Becker said, and to establish an opioid abatement council with the help of interlocal agreements.

The Washington State Department of Health’s opioid and drug overdose dashboard showed that the county’s overdose deaths rose from 58 to 130 between 2016 and 2022.

“This money will improve treatment options, support first responders and invest in other proven strategies to combat the epidemic,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in the news release.

Columbian staff writer