Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hamilton County to allocate almost $5M from Ohio's opioid settlement

Hamilton County Government Services Building
Bill Rinehart
Hamilton County Government Services Building

Money from Ohio's more than $1 billion opioid settlement will soon be available for addiction recovery agencies in Hamilton County.

Hamilton County Commission Vice President Denise Driehaus says the county has had some success limiting opioid overdoses in recent years.

Last year, the county saw 390 overdose deaths, down from a 2017 peak of 570.

Driehaus says short-term efforts to address addiction and overdoses will continue — things like Naloxone and mobile crisis units that respond to overdoses as they happen.

But she also says a good portion of the $4.8 million being administered by the OneOhio Recovery Foundation will likely help provide long-term support via recovery housing, transportation and medical services for people working toward sobriety.

"This money will help us expand the work that is already happening and move into areas that we've not really had the opportunity to invest in," she says. "Those are primarily what the support systems look like when someone is in long-term recovery."

Nonprofit, for-profit and governmental agencies doing work in addiction recovery are eligible to apply for the funding through May 3 via OneOhio's online portal.

RELATED: Butler County officials hope to land $2.7M from Ohio's opioid settlement

Funding decisions will be made by Hamilton County's 22-member OneOhio Governance Board, which includes all three county commissioners, Cincinnati City Councilmembers Meeka Owens and Victoria Parks, people who have experienced addiction, medical professionals, law enforcement and other experts.

"We three county commissioners need to listen to expert advice," Driehaus says. "Whether that is a person in recovery; whether that is a doctor who deals with these issues every day; whether that is the sheriff, seeing what she's seeing."

That board and the Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition also advise spending a separate allocation of the opioid settlement that goes directly to Hamilton County government.

Those payments started with $500,000 in 2022. Last year, the county got $1 million, and expects to get another $1 million this year. The money has gone toward a number of initiatives, including a 90-bed recovery unit in the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Nick has reported from a nuclear waste facility in the deserts of New Mexico, the White House press pool, a canoe on the Mill Creek, and even his desk one time.