Notice of $982k in funding to be published; applications open to the public for drug prevention and treatment programs.
October 18, 2022 - Tamuning, Guam- The Opioid Recovery Advisory Council (ORAC) held its second meeting today to discuss ways how the community can best utilize an estimated total of over $12 million in funds recovered as a result of Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho’s efforts in litigation against opioid manufacturers, distributors, and marketing companies.
Attorney General Camacho informed the ORAC that the Opioid Trust Account currently has a balance of over $982,000 with an anticipated balance of $1.5 million expected by the end of 2022. These funds must be used to support drug prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation programs.
Attorney General Camacho also circulated draft legislation with the ORAC that would expand access to naloxone, a medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Association to reverse an overdose from opioids, including fentanyl. Currently, naloxone is only available with a prescription. If adopted, Guam would join the overwhelming majority of jurisdictions that allow for the distribution of naloxone without a prescription to individuals and entities such as first responders, law enforcement officers, and community organizations. This is identified as a core strategy for use of the settlement funds.
Ms. Andrea Andrus, a member of the council and representative from Tohge, Inc., spoke about her personal experiences with administering these life-saving medications and expressed her whole-hearted support to create legislation that allows for easier access to opioid antagonists.
“Changing our laws to expand access to naloxone will help save lives,” said AG Camacho. “Law enforcement officers, who may be exposed to fentanyl, and community organizations, who interact daily with those struggling with opioid abuse, should be given access to this life saving medication.”
Finally, a notice of available funds will be published and applications will be open before the end of the year for any organizations interested in substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. The ORAC will award funding after a review of applications and proposals.
The OAG has made materials from today’s meeting as well as other information regarding the opioid settlements available at oagguam.org/roadtorecovery