Alabama to use $2.9M from opioid settlement on forensic labs

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall poses with multiple members of the Alabama Department...
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall poses with multiple members of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences after announcing nearly $3 million in funding from an opioid crisis settlement.(Source: Alabama Attorney General's office)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 11:41 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama will spend $2.95 million, nearly one-third of the $9 million opioid crisis settlement money with McKinsey & Company, on investments in the state’s forensic labs, according to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

Marshall announced the distribution on Tuesday, a day after confirming about $1.5 million from the settlement would go toward supporting the state’s specialty courts.

Marshall said the money will help labs improve the quality and turnaround times of the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences’ opioid-related cases. ADFS is the only provide of forensic lab services to all of the state’s more than 450 law enforcement agencies.

“Our state forensics lab, like so many across the country, has been battling backlogs caused by the opioid epidemic. This investment in new technology will give ADFS the tools they need to quickly identify trends in increasingly complex synthetic opioids and to aid law enforcement in identifying opioid traffickers,” Marshall said.

“Today’s funding announcement will provide critical assistance to us in our efforts to decrease the backlog of opioid cases, thereby making Alabama a safer place—each and every day,” added ADFS Director Angelo Della Manna.

The state’s settlement with McKinsey, the first multistate opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the crisis, totals $9 million. About $7.6 million is being paid this year.

The AG’s office said it will release details on a third distribution of funds from the McKinsey settlement within the week.

Alabama is set for trial against other companies, including Endo Pharmaceuticals and McKesson Corporation, and has pending claims against opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt, and Insys in each of their respective bankruptcy cases.

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