Dear Commissioners Parsons, Trescot, and D’Agostino,
I am writing to express my concern regarding the allocation of Lancaster’s Opioid Settlement Funds. As you may be aware, there have been recent proposals to spend a significant portion of the 2022 funds on law enforcement staffing. Please consider allocating 100% of the remaining $275,000 towards treatment, recovery, and harm reduction interventions.
It is essential to prioritize proven interventions that save lives, particularly in light of the disproportionate increase in overdose death rates for black and brown residents in Lancaster. I believe that appointing a new, independent opioid funds advisory group would ensure that all future funding recommendations follow the best evidence to save lives in the overdose crisis.
I urge you to reconsider the D.A.’s proposal to spend nearly 1/3 of 2022’s funding on two law enforcement jobs. This is a misuse of these funds that should be used to address unmet needs at our County D&A Commission. Allocating at least 30% of our Opioid Trust funds towards health interventions targeted directly to the highest-risk drug users is a wise choice.
Thank you for prioritizing health services and wisely allocating our scarce Opioid Settlement funds.
Robert E. Field, Founder
Lancaster Harm Reduction Project