Albany, Dougherty Co. joins national opioid settlements, seeking funds to alleviate drug crisis

Both the city and county are participating in a settlement that would help to aid some of the damage caused by opioids.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany and Dougherty County officials are working to get funds from a national opioid settlement, with the money to fight the deadly problem.

“This is an agreement that has been reached by a whole consortium of cities and counties who were affected by the opioid crisis,” Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis said.

The opioid settlement consists of pharmacies and manufacturers that have lawsuits pending saying they’re liable for helping to produce opioids.

This includes manufacturer defendants like Teva and Allergan, as well as the pharmacy parties Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.

“The numbers that are out there are lump sum numbers,” Davis said. “However, some of the parties, whether it’s Teva or Walmart or whoever, some of them are going to pay out a certain amount over five years. Some are going to pay it out over ten years. The attorney general’s office handles all that.”

Nathan Davis is Albany's city attorney.
Nathan Davis is Albany's city attorney.(WALB)

Both the city and county will have to have a reasonable basis to show why a certain amount of funds are needed and exactly how opioids negatively impacted their communities.

Funds from the settlement must go towards fixing problems caused by opioids.

Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler says he believes the funds should go towards community outreach since the opioid crisis is still a major problem.

“It’s a rise on it. I had three death certificates that came out this (Wednesday) morning,” Fowler said. “All of them had fentanyl in their system. So it’s real, it’s still happening. People are dying accidentally not knowing what they’re using.”

Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler.
Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler.(WALB)