Opioid Settlement Community Meeting Begins a New Era of Hope

angled view of the top of CMGC

 On Thursday, Oct. 27, Mecklenburg County will hold its first Opioid Settlement Community Meeting. Anna Fiscus-Surita* plans to attend the meeting to learn and contribute to the discussions on how the County will move forward in finding solutions. For her, this issue is very personal. “I began using heroin when I was 14 years old,” said Fiscus-Surita. “I was on a 20-year journey of addiction that included homelessness and incarceration. I am very hopeful for the future and the work to help people struggling with opioid addiction.” 

​Mecklenburg County will receive more than $32 million over the next 18 years to apply toward solutions to the opioid epidemic in our community. These funds are a part of the National Opioid Settlement, a historic $26 billion agreement that will bring critical support to help municipalities harmed by the opioid epidemic.   

County Manager Dena R. Diorio is leading the meeting where Mecklenburg County leaders, healthcare partners, providers, stakeholders, those with lived experience and others will brainstorm and prioritize how the funds from the National Settlement can be used to address the opioid epidemic. “I am excited that the community has responded so well to having this conversation. We will work together to find solutions and strengthen Mecklenburg County for all of us,” said Diorio. 

Available strategies include:  

  • Evidence-based addiction treatment   

  • Recovery support services  

  • Recovery housing support  

  • Employment-related services  

  • Early intervention  

  • Naloxone distribution    

  • Post-overdose response teams  

  • Syringe service program  

  • Criminal justice diversion programs  

  • Addiction treatment for incarcerated persons  

  • Re-entry programs  

There will be future community participation opportunities including a public hearing. County staff will use the information, along with the work of the Substance Use Disorder Task Force, to develop recommendations for the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners to consider. 

County commissioners, who will make the final decisions regarding funding, will consider these recommendations, establish a special revenue fund for settlement funds, and adopt a resolution authorizing strategies and funding amounts.  

The meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Valerie C. Woodard Center, 3205 Freedom Drive, Charlotte, NC 28208. 

The meeting is open to the public.