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Addiction recovery programs will get $13 million in opioid settlement funds 

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Addiction recovery programs will get $13 million in opioid settlement funds 

Jun 14, 2024 | 6:32 pm ET
By Ben Botkin
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Addiction recovery programs will get $13 million in opioid settlement funds聽
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Prescriptions for oxycodone and other opioids fueled an epidemic nationwide. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Oregon state officials will spend slightly more than $13 million on community centers and housing for rural Oregonians recovering from drug addiction. 

The Opioid Settlement, Prevention, Treatment & Recovery Board awarded $13.08 million for projects, primarily in rural counties that see many drug overdoses yet offer limited access to recovery services including programs, treatment and housing. The Oregon Health Authority announced the projects this week. 

The money will go to projects in Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Klamath and Wasco counties. The figure is a sliver of the nearly $600 million Oregon will receive during the next 18 years as part of a settlement in a national lawsuit states filed against opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies. 

For years, the opioid crisis left people across the country addicted to painkillers. In its aftermath, years of litigation left states, including Oregon, with hundreds of millions to put into recovery. The money comes as fentanyl, also an opioid, has made its way to city streets in Oregon.  

“The Settlement Board is excited to support recovery services across the state,” board co-chair Annaliese Dolph said in a statement. “This investment prioritizes high-need communities lacking access to supports for people in recovery, another step toward an adequate continuum of care in Oregon.”

Under the plan, the state’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission is to work with recipients and provide a proposed timeline and implementation plan to the board by Sept. 1. The settlement board signs off on that before any money goes out.

The biggest portion, $5 million, will go toward recovery community centers in Josephine and Klamath counties. Recovery centers offer a place for people to drop in and get information about available services and programs. The centers also can offer a space for training and support groups.

Officials also allocated $2.39 million for the planned Painted Horse Recovery Center in Douglas County. The new recovery center in Roseburg will offer outreach services, connect Native American clients to cultural activities and help people access medication, housing and health care. The money will fund three years of operations, including staff, administrative costs and equipment, the proposal document says.

In Curry County, $2.36 million will go to the Bay Area First Step Recovery Center. The money will allow the Coos County-based nonprofit to expand its footprint to Curry County and open a center that people can access to gain support and information about programs. The nonprofit offers treatment, housing and peer support staff services. 

Peer support workers have experiences of their own, such as overcoming a drug addiction, that they use to help their clients.

In Wasco County, $2 million will go to the Gorge Recovery Center, which plans to open a drop-in center to serve people in the Columbia River Gorge.

Another $1.3 million will go toward needs in existing programs.

About $830,000 will help recovery community centers expand culturally specific and youth services in existing recovery centers. Examples of services include translation and interpretation services, outreach to marginalized communities and hiring bilingual staff. 

Separately, $500,000 will go toward personnel costs for Oxford House, which runs recovery houses that help people as they transition to full independence while recovering from addiction. Oxford House, a national organization, runs more than 200 recovery houses throughout Oregon.