Cuyahoga County Dedicates Fund to Hold Opioid Settlement Cash

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CLEVELAND (AP) – One of the Ohio counties that struck a major settlement last month with the three biggest U.S. drug distributors and a major drugmaker has set up a special account for the money.

The Cuyahoga County Council in Cleveland approved creation of the Opioid Mitigation Fund this week.

Councilman Jack Schron proposed the idea to ensure settlement money doesn’t get mixed into the county general fund and used for purposes unrelated to the opioid epidemic. Opioid abuse has led to thousands of deaths countywide.

Cuyahoga County has won $179 million in cash settlements from opioid lawsuits, plus several million dollars’ worth of drugs and charitable donations.

Some of the money is expected to fund additional drug treatment facility beds, outpatient programs, emergency rooms, jail diversion programs and education.