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$53 million for battling with the opioid epidemic in Finger Lakes region



Rochester, New York — According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, the Finger Lakes region is set to receive $53 million to help in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

The AG’s office has negotiated about the funds coming from the settlement following the March 2019 lawsuit against various pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors that were held responsible for the opioid crisis. James handed over a check for more than $14 million to Monroe County and more than $5 million to the city of Rochester.

According to County Executive Adam Bello, the money will be put into a trust fund to ensure it goes towards education, prevention, treatment, and outreach.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be sent to all the counties in the region.

Wayne, Ontario, and Genessee counties could see upwards of $1 million.

According to the Monroe County Opioid Task Force, the money comes at a time when it is sorely needed. The second deadliest for overdoses this year was last month. A record 93,000 people died by overdose across the country last year, according to the CDC.

Miguel Melendez, the city councilman spoke at Thursday’s event. He said he would like to see on-the-ground support in communities.

“Looking at 2021 data we know that Dewey and Driving Park is spiking,” said Melendez. “We know Lyell Ave. has been a challenge. We know that Monroe Ave. has some challenges. But most notably, in the heart of the Latino community, and I’ll say it loud for the people in the back, North Clinton Ave. has had a significant opioid challenge for decades. We need to invest.”

At Thursday’s event, a mother who became an addiction recovery coach after losing her son to opioids also spoke.