FRAMINGHAM - Following nationwide settlements between states and those within the opioid production sector, the Framingham Opioid Task Force is continuing to determine how funding will be utilized to boost local services.
The city has already received roughly $472,000 from Massachusetts in the wake of litigation against multiple opioid-related groups such as pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers. Framingham will get at least $1.5 million in total, though Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration and Finance for the city Louise Miller anticipates that the final number will surpass that mark.
Per the legal settlements with the opioid industry, money provided to municipalities like Framingham can only be used in a number of ways—treatment, care, and outreach to families impacted by the opioid epidemic are all examples of proper avenues. The city has already set up a grant program for organizations already offering aid to apply for money to supplement new or existing services.
“We are a little ahead of other cities in terms of distribution of funds,” Miller explained, “where we’re anticipating distributing funds as early as December and January.
“A lot of what we’re trying to do is plan for the best way to spend the funds so that we’re effective in terms of how the funds are used.”
Framingham has also hired a consultant as the task force creates their future plans.
Miller sees these opportunities as major ones for the city.
“Not only is it huge for the City of Framingham, but if we can somehow manage to form some regional groups, we may be able to bring a lot of different funds together—funds from smaller communities that may not be receiving enough, or maybe don’t have organizations within their own community to provide the services,” Miller continued.
For more details on the Framingham Opioid Task Force, click here.
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