Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler stated on November 22, 2022, that he is calling upon elected leaders on the state, county, and local level to use settlement funds from lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors to directly address the primary issues caused by the opioid epidemic. Specifically Hoovler recommended that these funds be used to enhance drug addiction prevention programs, treatment and recovery programs directed toward children, teens and adults who suffer from opioid addiction, and to ensure adequate supportive housing for those struggling through recovery.
“I know that as the chief law enforcement officer in Orange County, many might expect me to recommend that a majority of these funds should go to law enforcement efforts,” said Hoovler. “While law enforcement is a necessary part of solving the opioid crisis, I believe that most of these funds should be used on prevention, treatment, housing, and other services to assist those trapped in the circle of addiction to get their lives back on track. Criminal enforcement is necessary to stop those who profit from the addiction of others, and to stop those who endanger others by selling these lethal substances and thereby destroy the fabric and quality of life of our communities. However, law enforcement is unable to provide necessary resources victims of ad-diction need to fully recover.”
Hoovler noted that far too many of our fellow residents have died as the result of opioids, and far too many families have had loved ones’ lives destroyed by addiction. It was specifically recommended that settlement funds be used to fund treatment programs which address both the medical and mental health issues caused or exacerbated by opioid addiction. District Attorney Hoovler also recommended that funds be used for supportive housing, and half-way houses which combines affordable housing with services to help those who are suffering from addiction to heroin, oxycodone, and other opioids.
“Opioids have destroyed far too many lives in Orange County and elsewhere and it is only right that those who contributed to the problem contribute to the solution,” said Hoovler. “The opioid crisis is far too serious and far reaching for these settlement funds to be directed to projects other than those related to correcting the harm caused by these lethal substances. I encourage all who need help with addiction to seek it. While enforcement alone is not the answer, the District Attorney’s Office will continue to work with all our law enforcement partners to stop those who seek to profit from the addiction and misery of others.”