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Maine opioid settlement money to go to fund, municipalities

Attorney General Aaron Frey said Maine stands to get as much as $130 million over 18 years.

MAINE, USA — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above aired Jan. 26, 2022.

Half of Maine’s money from an opioid settlement will go to a recovery fund that will be tasked with making decisions on how to use the funds to mitigate the opioid epidemic in the state. 

The money is part of Maine’s chunk of a $26 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson and opioid distributors. 

Governments around the country sued the companies for their role in the nationwide opioid crisis. 

Attorney General Aaron Frey said Maine stands to get as much as $130 million over 18 years.

“This agreement paves the way for Maine to receive significant resources, starting this year, to be specifically directed at tackling the opioid epidemic that is ravaging our state," Frey said in a release Friday. "These resources will be deployed to address this crisis, provide necessary treatment for addiction, and save lives. I appreciate the collaborative efforts of counties and municipalities in bringing this money to Maine, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and others as we move forward on this issue of state-wide importance.”

According to Frey, the distribution of these settlement funds to Maine is expected to begin as soon as April 2022.

NEWS CENTER Maine's partners at the Portland Press Herald reported an estimated 636 people died from drug overdoses in 2021 — a 23% increase from the previous record set in 2020. 

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