Chatham Announces Opioid Settlement Fund Programs

January 06, 2024

CHATHAM – Opioid settlement funds are paying for three contracts with local organizations to provide services to the community.

In her recent weekly newsletter, Town Manager Jill Goldsmith detailed programs that will be covered by the $74,000 received by the town through a settlement between the state and opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Individuals seeking recovery from substance abuse and alcohol use disorders can consult with recovery coach Kelly Connolly, who has begun to hold office hours at the police station on George Ryder Road every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. She is also available by phone at 774-209-3230.

Connolly’s position is funded for three years and is provided through Outer Cape Health Recovery Services. All participants, regardless of insurance status, are accepted.

Fishing Partnership Support Services is committed to mitigating the negative effects of the opioid epidemic in the fishing community. The town has contracted with the nonprofit organization for one year, according to Goldsmith, to conduct at least one annual opioid overdose and Naloxone distribution training with enhanced CPR/fire aid training; to translate training and opioid use materials into multiple languages including, but not limited to, Spanish and Brazilian-Portuguese; and to provide continued professional development for the group’s Cape Cod Navigator to learn best practices for opioid training and support for the community.

The Positive Alternative to School Suspension (PASS) program provided to Monomoy Regional High School students by Behavioral Health Innovators, Inc. will be expanded to the middle school under the opioid settlement funding program. During the current school year, the PASS supervisor will develop a program for middle school students and engage with the Monomoy District on its implementation. The group has also been tasked by the career education coordinator at the high school to train students as mentors to sixth graders to help educate them about substance abuse and its negative impacts.

Opioid abatement funds are expected to be received for the next 17 years. According to Goldsmith, the town’s opioid funds working group, which includes representatives from the police, fire, health and community services departments and local mental health and human services professionals, will evaluate current and emerging needs within the community and identify programs and services to meet those needs.