MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin is getting $400 million as part of a nationwide settlement with several pharmaceutical companies related to a lawsuit over the opioid crisis.
Health officials say the state will get $31 million of that settlement by the end of 2022. It will be spent over the course of three phases in an effort to save lives.
Phase 1 involves spending a total of $6 million to increase the availability of Narcan, fentanyl testing strips and to address the root causes of substance use.
Phase 2 involves spending $11 million for capital projects, including updating treatment facilities and expanding prevention and recovery services. Another $6 million will be going to tribal nations in need of urgent help.
"Our tribal nations also urgently need this funding, as they have seen a dramatic increase in opioid deaths," said Karen Timberlake Wisconsin Department of Health Services secretary-designee. "That has caused at least three tribes to declare states of emergency in response to the rise in substance use and the opioid epidemic."
In Phase 3, the remaining $8 million will be devoted to long-term project investments. One example is a statewide overdose alert system. This would help health officials monitor and identify overdose spikes in communities to better understand areas in need of help.
Funds will also be used for substance prevention programs directed at K-12 students and investments in family support centers.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services officials said this plan was drawn up based on feedback from the public and substance use service providers.