The Fairfax County government is set to receive its share of a new payment based on a legal settlement with a number of opioid distributors.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) announced July 29 that payments were heading out to Virginia’s 133 counties and cities as the first installment of the settlement with McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health.
The funds will help localities “take actionable steps to fight back against the opioid epidemic,” Miyares said in a statement.
Of the first settlement payout, about $9.94 million will go to the state government’s Opioid Abatement Authority and about $4.07 million will be distributed to localities.
Fairfax County – the commonwealth’s largest jurisdiction by population – is entitled to 8.672 percent of the latter total, or $352,630.
State Sen. Todd Pilson, who chairs the Opioid Abatement Authority, said the funding would be used to “implement a bold strategy to remediate and abate the opioid epidemic in the commonwealth.”
State officials in June reported that nearly 2,700 Virginians died of drug overdoses in 2021, driven by an increase in the availability of Fentanyl and related opiates that are flooding through the porous southern-U.S. border. A far smaller number of overdoses result from those using legally prescribed medications.
Fentanyl contributed to more than 76 percent of Virginia’s overdose deaths last year, the Virginia Department of Health reported, with the total number of Fentanyl-related deaths (2,033 in preliminary estimates) having doubled in just two years.