Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

WATCH: A panel on how Pa. wants to spend its $1B opioid settlement

by Spotlight PA Staff |

People gather in Harrisburg to honor lives lost to addiction during the 2nd annual Overdose Awareness and Memorial Day.
Amanda Berg / For Spotlight PA

Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and WITF Public Media. Sign up for our free newsletters.

Pennsylvania is expected to receive over $1 billion from a settlement to resolve claims against opioid companies, but the government officials in charge of spending and overseeing that money, as well as advocates, are divided on how to use it.

The funding can be applied to medical treatment, recovery support, media campaigns, and other efforts, and as some money has arrived, local leaders are preparing to use that latitude to tailor their portion to their needs.

Some of these officials want to spend the funds on law enforcement, an approach that some harm reduction and public health advocates argue might crowd out other treatment priorities.

To get you up to speed on these ongoing conversations and how they might shape how money from other opioid cases is spent, Spotlight PA and WESA held a free panel on the issue. Watch it below.

Our panelists were:

  • Ed Mahon, investigative reporter, Spotlight PA

  • Kate Giammarise, social services reporter, WESA

  • Jordan Scott, regional field organizer, PA Harm Reduction Network

  • Aneri Pattani, senior correspondent, KFF Health News

  • Jason Snyder, policy director of substance use disorder treatment services, Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association

  • Alejandro Alves, technical director of the overdose prevention program, Vital Strategies

» Spotlight PA’s events operate on a “pay-what-you-can” honor system. If you value this public-service event, pay it forward and contribute any amount to Spotlight PA now so we can keep our programming free for everyone: spotlightpa.org/donate.

Get the top news from across Pennsylvania, plus some fun and a puzzle, all in one free daily email newsletter.