Opioid Settlement Fund
Oct. 4, 2023 – The Board of Commissioners in a unanimous vote approved the use of $367,500 in Opioid Settlement Fund dollars for the "Community Based Mini-Grant" program administered by the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc. (BCDAC). Click here for a list of recipients...
Aug. 16, 2023 – The Bucks County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the use of Opioid Settlement funds for a variety of uses, including $1.4 million in sub-grantee awards. Read more...
Dec. 22, 2022 – Opioid Advisory Committee unveils "roadmap" for settlement funds. Read more...
Check back often for updates.
What is the Opioid Settlement Fund?
In 2022, the County of Bucks began receiving settlement payments from major opioid manufacturers, whose misleading business practices helped create the addiction crisis gripping American communities.
Through the nationwide settlement with opioid distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, the County expects to receive about $45 million over 18 years. The terms of the settlement require that these funds be used to remediate the ongoing opioid epidemic.
The Bucks County Commissioners have voted unanimously to commit funds to efforts that cover a full range of services, including Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Supports. Some examples include the purchase and distribution of Narcan (naloxone) kits and fentanyl test strips, and the continuation of the successful Human Services Co-Responder Program, which has embedded social workers in 18 police departments countywide.
How can my organization receive funding?
Through the Community-Based Mini Grant Program, the County began distributing Opioid Settlement funds in the fall of 2023 in support of qualifying programs and projects. Administered through the Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc., the mini-grant program is available to agencies and organizations that focus on advocacy, prevention, faith-based support, support for people in recovery or community services.
Funds may also be made available to organizations or agencies that may not qualify under the mini-grant program.
Funding requests can be made using the applications linked below. Interested parties should download and complete one of the following applications and send the completed form to [email protected].
Please note that all use of funds received through the national opioid settlement is governed by Exhibit E of the settlement agreement.
How does the County manage these funds?
To guide the County’s use of the funds, Commissioner Chair Bob Harvie created the Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee (OAC) in the spring of 2022, and directed the group to recommend proven, effective and targeted solutions with a focus on prevention and recovery.
The Committee is composed of leaders and community members representing multiple disciplines and walks of life in Bucks County. The group has held public hearings and accepts public input via email at [email protected].
PHOTO: Members of the Opioid Settlement Advisory Committee, from left, Alana Hardison - Prevention Specialist, No Longer Bound; Shannon Kirby - Opioid Settlement Program Manager, Bucks County; Rachael Neff - Director of Human Services, Bucks County; Ryan Schweiger, CPS, CRS, CPRP - Community Outreach Specialist, Penn Foundation; Micki Kaisinger - Founder, Emilie House; and Diane Rosati - Executive Director, Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc. Not pictured: William McVey - Director of Public Safety, Bensalem Township.
The OAC issued a report in later the same year that provided an 18-month “roadmap” of proposed allocations. Chief among them was an initial commitment of $900,000 toward the construction of a behavioral health crisis center, as well as a significant expansion in naloxone distribution efforts.
The committee also recommended the appointment of a settlement fund program manager to oversee the day-to-day work of allocating funds and reporting to ensure their proper use. The County Salary Board created the position in 2023, and the Board of Commissioners appointed Shannon Kirby to the role.
With additional litigation pending, it is anticipated that the OAC will continue to advise on funds received through any future settlements of this nature. Such funds also will be overseen by the opioid settlement fund manager.