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Alabama to use $1.5M from opioid settlement to tackle child abuse issue

(L-to-R) Sallye Longshore, Director, ADCANP; Attorney General Steve Marshall;
Tracy Plummer,...
(L-to-R) Sallye Longshore, Director, ADCANP; Attorney General Steve Marshall; Tracy Plummer, Deputy Director, ADCANP(Source: Alabama Attorney General's office)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Attorney General is designating the use of more money from the state’s recent $9 million opioid crisis settlement with McKinsey & Company.

In a statement released Friday, Marshall’s office said $1.5 million will be distributed to the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, or ADCANP. The money will allow the department to invest in reducing adverse childhood experiences driven by parental addiction to opioids.

Marshall’s office said data suggests that a large percentage of children enter foster care in Alabama due to parental substance abuse and that child neglect accounts for over 60 percent of child removals from the home.

“The Alabama Department of Child Abuse Neglect and Prevention is a small state agency with a critical mission—strengthening families,” Marshall said. “I firmly believe that strong families are the answer to nearly every societal ill that our state is wrestling with, not the least of which is the opioid crisis.”

“Children are the invisible victims of the opioid epidemic. Not only does parental substance abuse often lead to the abuse and neglect of children, but abused and neglected children tend to grow up to be substance-dependent adults,” Director Sallye Longshore said. “Our goal at ADCANP is to break this cycle and we have developed the evidence-based programs to do just that.”

The state’s settlement with McKinsey, the first multistate opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the crisis, totals $9 million. About $7.6 million is being paid this year.

The AG’s office said earlier in the week that $1.5 million would be invested in the state’s specialty courts and another $2.9 million in the state’s forensic labs.

Alabama is set for trial against other companies, including Endo Pharmaceuticals and McKesson Corporation, and has pending claims against opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt, and Insys in each of their respective bankruptcy cases.

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