New Hanover County and City of Wilmington leaders discuss opioid settlement funding plans


NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — New Hanover County and City of Wilmington leaders discussing the opioid crisis and how it plans to use the
more than $18 million dollars in settlement funds they will receive over the next 18 years.

“I mean we have such a group of experts in that room and that’s credit to both our county and our city staff. They’re just exceptional, and they bring together all the experts so that we have the information we need to make the decisions that we need to make” said Deb Hays, New Hanover County Commissioner.

County and city leaders discussed a three-step plan that includes education & outreach, access to services and treatment, and sustainable recovery & wellbeing.

Some of that money would go to programs that promote prevention and treatment. The “D.A.R.E.” program would receive a one-time $60,000 payment. $1.68 million dollars would go towards city and county EMS medication-assisted treatments and $200,000 would be given over the next five years for employment services for people in treatment and recovery.

Wilmington City Councilman Luke Waddell says one thing he would like to see addressed is the issue with open air drug markets in the downtown Wilmington area.

“A direct callout for addressing the open-air drug markets down at the New Hanover County downtown library and the Meadowlark Lemon bridge and I think we can do that in a myriad of ways” Waddell explained.

City and county leaders say Tuesday’s meeting is the first step in creating a plan to battle the opioid epidemic.

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