Guidance for Municipalities Utilizing Opioid Settlement Abatement Payments

This site will provide information from the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services on the background, helpful considerations and further resources for municipalities participating in the Opioid Abatement Settlement.

Table of Contents

Regional Community Engagement Assistance

Municipalities can access support from John Snow Research and Training Institute (JSI) at and fill out the Request Help form or by emailing or by phone (617-385-3655). The team at JSI can provide technical assistance and training related to using these funds in compliance with the State-Subdivision Agreement.

Statewide Opioid Settlement Recoveries

Massachusetts has participated in nationwide financial settlements with several companies as part of the historic legal efforts to demand abatement of the harms caused by the opioid epidemic. These settlements combined will bring over $900 million into Massachusetts for substance use prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery support.

Under the terms of a State-Subdivision Agreement (PDF) reached by the state and its municipalities and entered by a Massachusetts state court, 40% of the Massachusetts recoveries will be allocated to Massachusetts municipalities. For assistance and support, municipalities can visit Another 60% of the Massachusetts recoveries will be allocated to the statewide Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund, and all the recoveries must be used to fund prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery programs.

For more information about the Statewide Opioid Settlements, including copies of the agreements, charts reflecting anticipated payments, and answers to FAQs, visit the AG’s website.

Also please visit the statewide Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund and Advisory Council website for more information.

Guidelines for Expenditure of Municipal Opioid Settlement Recoveries

The State-Subdivision Agreement (PDF) provides a broad list of the abatement strategies (PDF) municipalities can fund using opioid settlement recoveries and useful guidelines regarding their expenditure.

Plans municipalities develop to expend municipal abatement funds should:

  • Incorporate community input from those directly affected by the opioid epidemic.
  • Address service disparities to increase access and equity in treatment and services for OUD, prevention, and harm reduction relating to opiates.
  • Leverage existing state, city, town, and community opiate use disorder, mental health disorder, and behavioral health disorder programming and services.

Municipalities are encouraged to innovate and collaborate in developing opioid abatement fund strategies.  The following are resources available to municipalities to support collaboration:

  • The Department of Public Health’s Office of Local and Regional Health’s Shared Service Infrastructure website. 
  • Sample Opioid Settlement Fund Inter-Municipal Agreement templates posted by the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards.
  • Inter-municipal agreements allow municipalities to pool funds to build shared abatement programs and services. Please note, these sample templates are provided as educational resources and are not legal advice, nor are they intended to constitute legal advice.

Please note that state procurement laws apply to the expenditure of municipal abatement funds: please see the AG Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

For strategic guidance and other technical assistance with municipal abatement initiatives, municipalities can email

Municipal Abatement Funds & State Procurement Laws

State procurement laws apply to the expenditure of municipal abatement funds, subject to certain permitted exceptions and exemptions. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has published answers to frequently asked questions about use of municipal abatement funds here. In addition, the OIG's Chapter 30B Manual provides helpful guidance on the state laws governing municipal procurement of supplies, services, real property. The OIG has a Chapter 30B team trained in public procurement that can provide you with technical guidance and answer your questions. To speak with someone on the OIG’s procurement team, call 617-722-8838 or email

Chapter 77 Acts of 2023 – Opioid Settlement Receipts

On December 4th, 2023, Governor Healey signed Chapter 77 of the Acts of 2023. Section 9 of the law provides, in part, for an exception to the legal requirement that all receipts are to be recorded as general fund revenue per G.L. c. 44, § 53 for Opioid Settlement Receipts. Municipalities now have the option to account for these receipts in a special revenue fund. The Department of Revenue’s Division of Local Services (DLS) released the Opioid Settlement Receipts Bulletin to provide guidance to municipalities on how the legislation will impact fiscal management of the opioid abatement funds.

Statewide procurements for opioid-related programs and services

Municipalities may be eligible bidders for state procurements for opioid-related programs and services or may be able to use their municipal abatement funds to support new and existing programs and services in their communities.

Existing Free Harm Reduction Resources for Municipalities

Bulk Purchasing of Naloxone 

  • Municipal Police and Fire Departments are welcome to order fully subsidized naloxone from the State Office of Pharmacy Services (SOPS), funded by BSAS.

Community Naloxone Purchasing Program (CNPP)

  • Organizations that work with individuals who may either witness or experience an overdose are welcome to apply to the CNPP and access fully subsidized naloxone funded by BSAS.

Fentanyl Test Strips

  • Fentanyl Test Strips are now available for free from the DPH Health Promotion Clearinghouse funded by BSAS. They are shipped out with an accompanying instructional wallet card.
  • Additional educational materials related to harm reduction and overdose prevention are also available to print or order in bulk at no cost.

Reporting Requirements for Municipalities

Starting in August 2023, all participating municipalities will be asked to submit an annual report on their FY23 Opioid Abatement Fund planning process, strategies selected, and expenditures.  Those municipalities that received $35,000.00 or more in FY23 are required to submit a report. The reporting form covers:

  • Efforts to solicit community input regarding how abatement funds should be spent from local stakeholders including people with lived experience of the opioid epidemic.
  • The abatement funds that were received and expended in Fiscal Year 2023.
  • The abatement strategies that were selected. 
  • Efforts to address service disparities and inequity in opioid use disorder treatment, prevention, harm reduction, and recovery support and to direct resources to under-served or vulnerable populations.

All reports will be submitted through a web-based reporting platform. Fill out this form to indicate who will be the official point of contact for submitting reports on opioid settlement activities to the Commonwealth. This person will receive information on setting up a log-in for the online reporting system.  To support local planning and for the convenience of municipalities, please use the draft annual reporting form (PDF) l (DOCX). Questions may differ in the final version.

In order to support full transparency of the use of the opioid abatement funds, and in accordance with the State-Subdivision Agreement l (DOCX), all reports will be made public.

Municipalities must retain documentation regarding these funds and their expenditure for either five years after funds are received or the period required by law, whichever is longer.

Municipal Opioid Settlement Funding Expenditure Dashboard

The Municipal Opioid Settlement Funding Expenditures Dashboard is an interactive site that allows the public to review the information that municipalities report annually on the planning processes they have undertaken, the strategies selected, and the total funds expended for the opioid abatement work. The current data in the dashboard was extracted from the annual Municipal Expenditure Reports for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23 - July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023).

The Massachusetts State Subdivision Agreement requires those municipalities that receive $35,000 or more annually, either individually or pooled across municipalities, to file an annual report. Municipalities that receive less than $35,000 are strongly encouraged to submit a report as well. The submission rate for the FY23 reporting period was 100% (n=195) for those municipalities required to submit a report, and 35% (n=150) for those not required to submit a report. The dashboard also displays communities that did not receive funding as a result of not participating in the national opioid settlements.

Additional Resources

Operational Services Division Statewide Contracts

Municipalities can utilize the Operational Service Division’s (OSD) Statewide Contracts for relevant purchases and avoid the need for new procurements.

Some potential expenditures/ purchases that are available on already-procured statewide contracts include:

  • First Responder overdose emergency response equipment 
    • Naloxone is available in bulk from the State Office of Pharmacy Services (SOPS) subsidized by DPH, so does not need to be purchased separately.
  • Sharps/Syringe disposal and destruction 
  • Medication disposal and destruction

For more information on these items, please see the OSD Statewide Contract User Guides FAC110 HSP43, HSP44 and HSP41 (HSP41 will become HSP45 on JAN 1, 2023). Other statewide contracts may be relevant for Opioid-related remediation as well

Opioid Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction

Municipal Overdose Prevention Planning Guides

Prevention and Treatment Guidance


  • Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline

    • For Voice and hearing users, Call (800) 327–5050
    • For TTY and ASCII users, Call (800) 720–3480.
    • Or visit
  • National Crisis Hotline: 9-8-8

For questions and other technical assistance with municipal abatement initiatives, municipalities can email:

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