Regional Community Engagement Assistance
Municipalities can access support from John Snow Research and Training Institute (JSI) at www.caremass.org and fill out the Request Help form or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.caremass.org. 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 email@example.com.
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
- Municipal Police and Fire Departments are welcome to order fully subsidized naloxone from the State Office of Pharmacy Services (SOPS), funded by BSAS.
- 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 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.
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.
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
- SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
- Harm Reduction Coalition Overdose Prevention Toolkit
- MA DPH Naloxone Resources and Training
- The Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse Website
Municipal Overdose Prevention Planning Guides
- EDC Opioid and other Substance Misuse Prevention resources
- Massachusetts Health Officers Association “Essential Measures: A Local Public Health Toolkit for Addressing the Opioid Epidemic”
- National Association of County and City Health Officials Opioid Epidemic Toolkit 2021
- John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health “Principles for Use of Funds from the Opioid Litigation”
- National League of Cities “Aligning City, County and State Resources to Address the Opioid Epidemic: Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities”
- National Association of County and City Health Officials “Overdose Spike Response Framework for Communities and Local Health Departments”
- HHS / The Partnership Center The Opiate Crisis Practical Toolkit
- Brandeis University Opioid Resource Connector
Prevention and Treatment Guidance
- SAMHSA Prevention Strategy Framework and Guidelines; Communities That Care
- CDC Report "Linking People with Opioid Use Disorder to Medication Treatment: A Technical Package of Policy, Programs, and Practices"
- SAMHSA “Evidence Based Practices” Resource Center
- Opioid Epidemic and Substance Use Disorder: A Primer for Massachusetts Boards of Health
- Opioid Epidemic and Substance Use Disorder: Local Public Health in Action
- The Center for Strategic Prevention Support
Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline
- For Voice and hearing users, Call (800) 327–5050
- For TTY and ASCII users, Call (800) 720–3480.
- Or visit https://helplinema.org
- National Crisis Hotline: 9-8-8