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Important Dates

National opioid settlement community meeting set for Oct. 27

Oct. 13. Mecklenburg County will receive more than $32 million over the next 18 years to find solutions to the opioid epidemic.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, leaders will ask the community for input on how to spend the incoming funds.

The funds are a part of the National Opioid Settlement, a historic $26 billion agreement that will bring critical support to help municipalities harmed by the opioid epidemic.

In North Carolina, more than nine people died each day as a result of a drug overdose in 2020. From 2000 to 2020, more than 28,000 North Carolinians died from a drug overdose, and in Mecklenburg County, there was a 167 percent increase in opioid-related death rates.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, county leaders, healthcare partners, providers, stakeholders, those with lived experience and others will convene to brainstorm and prioritize how the funds from the National Settlement can be used to address the opioid epidemic.

Here’s what will happen

—A presentation from Dr. Travis Hales, assistant professor at the University of Charlotte School of Social Work on the context around the opioid epidemic;

—An overview of Mecklenburg County’s situation from Angela Allen, executive director of the Center of Prevention Services;

—Information on the opioid settlement and opportunities from Dena Diorio, county manager, Mecklenburg County;

—A perspective of lived experience from Abby Schuette, a local attorney.

What’s next

Mecklenburg County staff will conduct an online survey and hold a public hearing to gain additional community participation. They will use the results, along with the work of the Substance Use Disorder Taskforce to develop recommendations for Board of Commissioners to consider.

County commissioners, who will make the final decisions regarding funding, will consider these recommendations, establish a special revenue fund for settlement funds, and adopt a resolution authorizing strategies and funding amounts.

The meeting runs from 11 am to 2 pm at the Valarie C. Woodard Center, 3205 Freedom Drive, Charlotte. The meeting is open to the public.