ALL NEWS

Utah opioid task force: Spend settlement money on treatment, prevention

Jan 31, 2022, 1:52 PM
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Opioid Task Force hopes that the millions of dollars the state will receive from a settlement with drug companies will significantly help combat the opioid epidemic. Specifically, they’d like to see the money go toward treatment.

Their request comes after conversations with experts, community members, and people directly affected by the opioid epidemic. The committee chair says a common and reoccurring theme is that the state should spend the money on treatment.

“I was really pleased to get as much criminal justice and public safety and law enforcement input,” said Dr. Jennifer Plumb, “and see how much of it was gravitating towards diversion, away from the punitive model.

“And diversion away from the ‘we can slap your wrist hard enough so you’ll stop doing this,’ (model).”

The Utah Attorney General estimates that Utah will receive $309 million over the next 18 years from the opioid settlement. But it is unclear at what point the money will start arriving.

The task force gave their recommendations to Utah lawmakers on Monday. The chair of the settlement advisory committee, Brent Kelsey, said that whenever the money does come, Utah needs to be prepared.

“The opioid crisis has taken a huge toll on individuals and families and communities in Utah, and this is a rare and unique opportunity to turn that around,” Kelsey said.

Plumb agreed, saying that Utah receiving this money is an “unprecedented” opportunity to save lives.

We’re asking that you please don’t spend all this money at once, and we also think it’s important that we report to the public on where this money is going.”

The task force is charged with providing guidance on how the money is spent, but Utah government officials will decide where the money goes.

Related reading:

Today’s Top Stories

All News

The National Archives has told the House Oversight Committee that certain presidential records from...
Whitney Wild and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

National Archives says it still doesn’t have all Trump White House records

The National Archives has told the House Oversight Committee that certain presidential records from the Trump administration remain outstanding, citing information that some White House staff used non-official electronic systems to conduct official business.
19 hours ago
Sister Tracy Y. Browning, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, speaks during the Sat...
Waverly Golden

Saturday morning conference session makes history

During the Saturday morning session of the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sister Tracy Y. Browning became the first Black woman to ever speak at a general conference.
19 hours ago
u of u student arrested...
Waverly Golden

Other paths to consider when thinking about attending college

Following the student loan forgiveness announcement, college is on everyone's mind. Dave Noriega takes an in-depth look at the alternatives.
19 hours ago
Around 1:02 p.m. this afternoon, a pickup truck with two occupants ended up in a ditch filled with ...
Waverly Golden

Pickup truck crash leaves two dead

The Utah Department of Public Safety says the occupants, a male driver and passenger sustained fatal injuries. 
19 hours ago
Firefighter Fred Woods assesses damages at Tragedy Springs (Jonathan Pierce Calfire)...
Dan Bammes

The sad history of Tragedy Spring

The Mormon Battalion historic site, high in the Sierras is in sad shape after windstorms and wildfires.
19 hours ago
The Church Office Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pictured during th...
Tad Walch, Deseret News

‘Any kind of abuse … is an abomination,’ President Nelson says at Saturday morning session

President Russell M. Nelson denounced abuse as a grievous sin and an abomination at the close of the Saturday morning session of the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Utah opioid task force: Spend settlement money on treatment, prevention