Opioid Settlement Response Initiative:

On August 20, 2021, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office joined the historic $26 billion multi-state settlement agreements with pharmaceutical distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen, and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. This settlement will bring more than $300 million to Minnesota counties and cities through 2040. The Office of Minnesota’s Attorney explains how the settlement works and why it matters.

According to the Minnesota Opioids State-Subdivision Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), the Public Health departments shall serve as the lead agency and Chief Strategist to identify, collaborate, and respond to local issues as Local Governments decide how to leverage and disburse Opioid Settlement Funds. In their role as Chief Strategist, public health departments will;

  • Convene multi-sector meetings
  • Lead efforts that build upon local efforts like Community Health Assessments and Community Health Improvement Plans
  • Foster community focused and collaborative evidence-informed approaches that prevent and address addiction across the areas of public health, human services, and public safety.
  • Consult with municipalities located within their county in the development of any Community Health Assessment
  • Collaborate with law enforcement agencies in the county where appropriate.

County-Level Opioid Settlement Response Initiatives:

A full list of estimated maximum funds to counties and cities can be found on the Attorney Generals website.

Douglas County’s settlement: Distributors and Johnson& Johnson $1,238,926.65, Second Wave $1,012,009.69

Grant County’s settlement: Distributors and Johnson& Johnson $157,300.58, Second Wave $128,490.02

Pope County’s settlement: Distributors and Johnson& Johnson $384,762.30, Second Wave $314,290.95

Stevens County’s settlement: Distributors and Johnson& Johnson $296,158.81, Second Wave $241,915.52

Traverse County’s settlement: Distributors and Johnson& Johnson $185,982.44, Second Wave $151,918.63


Allocations of the Funds:

All funds must be used for opioid mitigation, such as treatment, prevention, recovery, harm reduction, research, and training. Horizon Public Health will follow Guiding Principles, created by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, enforced by nearly 50 major organizations, to ensure proper spending of opioid litigation funds; Additional

    • Principle 1 – Spend the money to save lives.
    • Principle 2 – Use evidence to guide spending.
    • Principle 3 – Invest in youth prevention.
    • Principle 4 – Focus on racial equity.
    • Principle 5 – Develop a fair and transparent process for deciding where to spend the funding.
    • Download Opioid Principles PDF

Additional resources can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health Opioid Overdose Preventions website.

County-level Opioid Initiatives:

Horizon Public Health will assemble key sectors to establish county-level Opioid Initiative that will work to advise their respective local County Board of Commissioners as to how to most effectively, efficiently, and equitably spend the Opioid Settlement funds awarded. Informed by the MOA, the Initiative will both recommend the standards by which funds are spent as well as specific projects to be funded via a Request for Proposals process.

These Initiatives will meet to help guide the spending of National Opioid Settlement dollars to the areas most needed to save lives and prevent further damage. The Opioid Initiatives will have voting and non-voting members and all meetings will be open to the public. Ideal members of the initiative will be:

  • Be open to learning and promoting best practices in opioid treatment, recovery, and prevention,
  • Be champions of work needing to be done and has the time to commit,
  • Have a baseline understanding of the current work and data trends.

Ideal sectors to be represented;

  • Legal Professional
  • Law Enforcement
  • Corrections
  • Public Health
  • Human Services
  • Treatment
  • Recovery
  • Board of Commissioners
  • Primary Care
  • Communities of color and other communities affected by patterns of discrimination
  • Education
  • Community member at large
  • Addiction medicine
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Local Municipality
  • Veterans Services
  • Other

Local Opioid Data:

If you would like more information about the Opioid Settlement, or would like to be involved, please contact Amy Reineke; amyr@horizonph.org, or 320.762.3079.