Bryan City Council meets to discuss statewide opioid abuse settlement

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -The state of Texas continues its fight against opioid abuse. Last week the state reached a $38 million settlement with McKinsey, one of the world’s largest consulting companies.

To date, Attorney General Ken Paxton has secured more than $618 million from multiple settlements that will be used to help communities impacted by the opioid crisis.

“We desire for our cities and our counties to get behind this deal to maximize the money that can come to Texas citizens who need it,” said Paxton. “we’re asking our cities and counties to thoughtfully. Look at this. And, to join a deal that we spent years negotiating. And this will only be the beginning of our belly combat opioid addiction. We will continue to fight. We will continue to go after these other companies, along with some of the manufacturers that are currently in bankruptcy. And so you will see our office continuing to seek resources from these companies that have caused this problem.”

The Bryan City Council will meet Tuesday evening to discuss a resolution about an opioid settlement with four (4) companies that manufacture and/or distribute opioids for their role in the opioid crisis. The agreements provide for $26 billion in payments over eighteen (18) years, with Texas receiving nearly $1.5 billion. Distribution of funds is handled between an arrangement between the states and the litigating subdivision, and money is available to any city or county that joins in the agreement.

The City of Bryan joined this agreement and adopted the Texas Term Sheet on December 14, 2021, with the adoption of Resolution No. 3968 which allows them to participate in a settlement with one of the four companies, Endo-Par.

Over the last decade, Texas has had its share of problems with opioids. According to data released by the CDC five in every 100,000 Texans died of an opioid overdose. That’s compared to 13 in every 100,000 people nationwide.

Joy Alonzo is an assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. She says the pandemic has placed a new spotlight on the opioid crisis.

“Things are getting dramatically worse, dramatically worse, said Alonzo. “We don’t have all the public health data from 2020 yet, but by July, it was already had greatly exceeded 2020.”

Receiving a settlement is one issue but how to spend it is another issue. The Bryan City Council has not determined what they plan of spending their portion of the settlement on but local organizations would like to see the money used for education, prevention, treatment, and other life-saving measures.

Carl Olivares is a prevention specialist with the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse (BVCASA) he says he would like to see more money allocated toward educating younger children and adults.

“Pre K, K, elementary, I mean the earlier that kids and teens and so forth are able to get educated about not just opioids but drugs in particular,” said Olivares.

Alonzo would like to see money put toward more immediate life-saving measures like the kits with Naloxone that Texas A&M provides.

“You put it in somebody’s nose (Opens top to bottle, pushed upward) and watch this. I just saved someone’s life. That’s all it takes,” said Alonzo. ” I would like every single citizen in the state of texas to have a naloxone rescue kit and know how to use it.”

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