Suffolk benefits from state opioid grant funding

Published 7:01 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Programs serving Suffolk were awarded $230,304 from ore than $23 million in grants by the Board of Directors for the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority.

Additionally, $3 million was awarded to Chesapeake and Virginia Beach for in-patient psychiatric care. 

On Friday June 23, 2023, the board approved grants to 76 Virginia cities and counties for opioid abatement and remediation efforts. The vote confirmed the full board’s approval of recommendations made by the OAA’s grants committee, which earlier this month recommended the slate of awards.

Email newsletter signup

In a news release, OAA announced the award of $`80, 304 to the city of Suffolk. The grant is designated for a needs assessment and management system for providing grants to community organizations, according to the news release.

Additionally, the city is part of a grant awarded to Virginia Beach, totaling    $50,000. This is for a partnership that includes Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk and Portsmouth, to develop a plan to enhance the full continuum of care available to South Hampton Roads in treatment and support for recovery from OUD.

Sen. Todd Pillion, chairman of OAA, called the vote “historic,” noting that all regions of the state will receive portions of the grant awards. 

“We were pleased to see that communities across the commonwealth have committed to use opioid settlement funds to truly fight the opioid epidemic, both with new programs and in expansion of existing programs that have proven records of success,” Pillion said. “Virginia is using its opioid settlement funds to turn the tide against this epidemic, and the projects we funded in this award package will save lives.”

Dr. Sarah Thomason, a clinical pharmacist who chairs the OAA’s Grants Committee, said OAA sought to provide a balance in the types of awards made. “The programs we funded in this round address gaps across the board, ranging from prevention and education, to treatment, to long-term recovery,” she said. 

In 2022 Attorney General Jason Miyares announced the first round of finalized settlements worth more than $500 million for the commonwealth spread over the course of 18 years, and predicted the total will increase to more than $1 billion as additional settlements are finalized.

OAA was established by the General Assembly in 2021 to oversee the distribution of 55% of Virginia’s total settlement funds. Of the remainder, 30% is distributed directly to cities and counties, and the remaining 15% to the commonwealth. The use of funds is restricted by court orders and state statute, with the restrictions aiming for the funds to be used for opioid abatement efforts. 

For more information contact