TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — On Thursday night, the Terre Haute City Council established a fund to receive money from an opioid-related settlement.
City attorney Eddie Felling says Terre Haute is going to receive, in total, about $2,500,000 over the course of 18 years. He says the city hopes to receive its first disbursement of money sometime this summer. Felling adds that the city is waiting on direction from the state on how it will be allowed to use these funds, but he shared a few ideas.
“Think about our ambulances and EMS responding to individuals that are dealing with an opioid issue, our police that are responding to those types of issues. We’ve already spent money doing those things so hopefully we can recuperate some of our costs. Number two, then, there’s going to be restrictions on making sure we’re using the money in a way that prevents future issues,” Felling said.
Felling adds that the city doesn’t know what those preventative steps would look like yet, but that the city hopes to use the money in a positive way to address the opioid crisis.
“I mean it’s awful, the opioid crisis. It’s an epidemic. It’s truly awful. There’s not a single person that I know of that hasn’t been directly impacted in some way, shape, or form by somebody that’s been prescribed these drugs and even subsequently used them in an abusive way,” Felling said. “It’s destroyed a lot of families, it’s destroyed a lot of lives, and thankfully we’re one step closer to helping prevent future issues like this.”