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Strategic framework for opioid abatement funds by cities and counties

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Recognizing calls for support as cities and counties work to determine best uses for millions of dollars from opioid abatement funds.

Within the national settlement frameworks there are 26 approved uses and over 100 initiatives that are permissible for funding; leaders around the country recognize all options may not be relevant or practical for a given city or county affected by the crisis, and that aligning existing services capacity and community stakeholder needs, and setting short- and longer-term objectives are critical to addressing the opioid crisis. There are numerous valuable publications from academia and think tanks offering guidance, suggestions and recommendations at a macro level.

Even as these tools and resources are available, specific plans are needed for a given city or county on how to navigate this extensive menu of funding options. The absence of clarity poses a significant challenge for local governments, which often are not experts in handling the complexities of opioid use disorder (OUD) when determining where and how to direct these crucial resources. This lack of a flexible framework can hinder local governments that lack the expertise, access to data, and inputs from the community in their ability to deploy these dollars effectively to where they are needed most.


As city and county leaders look to prioritize strategies, answering a few questions can lay the foundation for success:

  • Which of the approved strategies should a city or county consider — and just as important, not consider — based on the local situation, capabilities and available resources?
  • What key county or city objectives would be met by prioritizing a specific strategy? What are the trade-offs on prioritizing the strategy?
  • What impact would the strategy and supporting initiatives have to address the current needs of the community?


In the whitepaper below we describe tactical steps to developing a straightforward framework for cities and counties that accelerates the use of opioid abatement funds to addressing this critical public health issue.

Download the full whitepaper for tactical steps to developing a straightforward framework for the use of opioid abatement funds.


A foundational strategic plan that focuses on shorter-term objectives is a key step for any city or county to put into action as they advance efforts to address the opioid crisis through strategic use of opioid abatement funds.