Newton to get millions from national opioid settlements

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller announced on Friday that Newton will get millions of dollars in settlement money from opioid manufacturers and distributors.

“The City of Newton will receive more than $3.8 million over the next 15 years to help residents of Newton with substance use issues and to provide support and services for prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery,” Fuller wrote in her Friday email to the city.

In 2021 and 2022, then-Attorney General Maura Healey announced settlements with Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, Teva, Allergan, CVS and Walgreens related to the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic.

The settlements were nationwide and amounted to billions of dollars, and Massachusetts received hundreds of millions of dollars of it.

In October 2022, Fuller continued, when the settlements were announced, Newton’s Department of Health and Human Services staff created an advisory group to prioritize how to spend those funds.

And with that group’s guidance, the mayor has set the money for four uses:

A partnership with the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Substance Use Services Clinic providing addiction support to Newtonians who need it.

Opioid rescue kits to be installed in Newton’s public buildings

Youth prevention programs

Services for Newton families including education, referrals and Narcan.

“Newton Health and Human Services and the Coalition for Community Wellness will continue to explore ways to use these funds in sustainable, equitable and meaningful ways to address lives being impacted by the opioid and substance use epidemic,” Fuller wrote.