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Anderson County announces opioid settlement spending

Drazen Zigic

Anderson County officials will use $418,824 in opioid settlement money to fund four initiatives aimed at drug awareness education and treatment and recovery programs.

According to a county statement, $170,824, the largest single appropriation, will help fund a drug treatment program at the Anderson County Detention Center. That includes detoxification assistance, addiction treatment, appropriate counseling, and post-release aftercare and referrals. The money will also be used to expand existing medication-assisted treatment and health and wellness programs offered to inmates suffering from addiction. The funds will also pay for licensed mental health and behavioral professionals on a full-time basis at the Detention Center.

The second-largest allotment will fund a collaboration with PlaySafe, an Anderson-based youth wellness nonprofit; $105,000 will pay for a program aimed at educating students on the risks associated with substance use as well as monitoring their mental and physical health before, during, and after an injury.

Ninety-eight thousand dollars will fund post-release scholarships for graduates of the Detention Center’s recovery program; and $45,000 will fund a drug education initiative through the Anderson County Coroner’s Office. That program will provide outreach to all community civic organizations, churches, elementary schools, and high schools in Anderson County throughout the 2023-2024 calendar year.

The money is part of a settlement the state received from opioid makers, made available through the South Carolina Opioid Recovery Fund.

Scott Morgan is the Upstate multimedia reporter for South Carolina Public Radio, based in Rock Hill. He cut his teeth as a newspaper reporter and editor in New Jersey before finding a home in public radio in Texas. Scott joined South Carolina Public Radio in March of 2019. His work has appeared in numerous national and regional publications as well as on NPR and MSNBC. He's won numerous state, regional, and national awards for his work including a national Edward R. Murrow.