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Northampton County to Receive Over $2 Million from Opioid Settlement | WDIY Local News

Olga DeLawrence

Northampton County’s district attorney says the county will receive millions of dollars from a state opioid settlement. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

Northampton County District Attorney Terence Houck announced Tuesday that the county will receive $2,180,422.43 from a settlement in an opioid litigation case.

According to a county news release, the case was brought against 20 pharmaceutical companies, including Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson.

Houck, along with several other district attorneys statewide, joined the 2017 Pennsylvania lawsuit against various pharmaceutical companies to, “curtail the widespread opioid dependence created by these companies.”

The suit alleged that the companies were unlawfully marketing and selling addictive drugs, and getting medical providers to treat chronic pain with opioids.

In a statement, Houck called the new settlement “great progress,” but added that more needs to be done.

He said the county will continue to address the ongoing opioid crisis on two fronts – using its full-time drug task force to combat illegal drug dealing, and continuing to confront pharmaceutical companies engaged in deceptively distributing opioids.

The settlement funds will be available beginning in September, and will support programming at Northampton County’s Drug & Alcohol division.

Recovery programs available at D&A include:

  • HERO, or Housing Emergency Response to Opioids, designed for individuals addicted to opioids who are homeless of facing eviction. People can be referred through transitional housing sites, recovery court, one of the county’s five Recovery Centers or can call 610-829-HELP (4357). Rent and assistance with utility payments can be covered for up to six months.

  • PAIR, Police Assisting in Recovery, which allows case managers to work with people referred by police officers.

  • RISE, which helps connect currently-incarcerated individuals with Certified Recovery Specialists or Certified Family Recovery Specialists, and offers recovery interim services by phone or in-person.

  • CATCH services, Combatting Addition though Connection and Healing, which are available at local county hospitals and seek to engage individuals in accessing drug and/or alcohol treatment services and provide guidance.

A number of recovery centers are also available throughout Northampton County.

(Original air-date: 8/30/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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