Breaking News
More () »

South Carolina expected to receive $300 million from opioid settlement

The state will receive its share in millions as a result of a law suit against the three top pharmaceutical companies and Johnson & Johnson.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina will receive hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of an agreement reached in a lawsuit against pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson for their part in creating an opioid crisis in the U.S.

South Carolina joined others in the suit against the company for their part in creating an opioid crisis across the nation. Attorney General Alan Wilson says the settlement will give South Carolina the financial resources needed to fight the state’s opioid epidemic.

RELATED: Companies: $26B settlement of opioid lawsuits to move ahead

“This is a big day for South Carolina," Wilson said. “A huge settlement, $363 million over the next 18 years, is going to those who need it most.”

Sara Goldsby, Director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services says this funding will help build upon the services currently in place. "

"People are currently dying from something that is absolutely preventable,” Goldsby said. “Build the infrastructure for supports that people are going to need long term, especially as they recover from a lifelong disease that they manage.”

RELATED: South Carolina announces how much it will receive from $26 billion opioid agreement

92% of the funds will be used to directly address the opioid crisis by supporting treatment, recovery and harm reduction. According to DHEC’s most recent data, in 2019 in Lexington County, there were 48 opioid deaths. That same year in Richland County there were 52, and in Kershaw County there were nine.

“Helping people not die from overdose when we can prevent it is urgent.” Goldsby said, emphasizing that this money could help save lives.

RELATED: One dead, others recovering from suspected drug overdose at Columbia housing complex

“This money coming to the states, to the counites is the right thing and it is the right money to do these things.”

According to the Attorney General Office's a Board will be created to administer and direct the funds. The Attorney General’s Office will not decide who gets money or how much but the board will. The board will consist of nine people and they will be public health professionals with experience in opioid prevention, treatment, and intervention.

RELATED: 'Every parent’s nightmare': Mother shares story of heartbreak after losing son to fentanyl overdose

Before You Leave, Check This Out