SF Can’t Use Opioid Settlement on Drug Sites, Lawyers Say


San Francisco officials said this week that the city will allow non-profits to operate drug addiction treatment centers. However, there is a dispute as to whether money from a legal judgment can be used to finance the places that are prohibited under the law of the federal.

The city hopes to receive more than $120 million in funding from a trial which ended in Augustwhich alleged that pharmaceutical companies AbbVie, Endo, Teva and Walgreens acted negligently in facilitating drug smuggling on the streets of San Francisco.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who worked on a deal with Mayor London Breed at Remove permit bars for drug sites, it was necessary to use the expenses as a way to exempt the city from directly financing the buildings against the federal laws. Other board members agreed—despite warnings from the city attorney that doing so could put the city at risk—or said it was the first time they had heard of such a limit. in the use of settlement funds.

“That makes things difficult,” Dorsey said. “It would have been a wonderful solution.”

The City Attorney’s Office said that since the settlement money goes into the government’s funds, it cannot be used to finance the settlements. Breed supports a New York City safe shelter model, which is operated by a nonprofit organization using private donations— although the city funds other services offered in the same building.

Using settlement funds won through opioid lawsuits could create liability for the city, the City Attorney’s Office said.

“Most of the money to pay for opioids is paid to the city, they are city dollars, regardless of the source. They are not distinguished from any other funding of the city in this case,” said Jen Kwart, a spokeswoman for the city attorney.

In an interview on Friday, Ronen accused the city attorney of effectively blocking safe-use facilities and his determination that the relocation funds should not be used.

“It’s very sad; I feel like the city attorney is talking out of both sides of his mouth,” Ronen said.

The cost of operating 28 drug stores five days a week at two locations in New York City is up to $1.4 million a year, according to Sam Rivera, director The best is OnPoint NYC, which manages the sites. But the location in New York are in danger of closing because their private funding has dried up, Rivera said.

Rivera estimated that running two New York City locations 24/7 would cost up to $4.3 million a year.

“It’s incredibly powerful. But in terms of the next hurdle for us, it’s going to be funding,” said Gary McCoy, vice president of policy and public affairs for the nonprofit HealthRight 360.

HealthRight 360 is one of at least three San Francisco nonprofits looking to open safe-shopping centers. The Gubbio Project, a non-profit organization that provides housing and resources for the homeless, said it could open a safe haven at a church in the Mission neighborhood. The SF AIDS Foundation also has a proposal to open a safe-use facility at 444 Sixth St., according to public records seen by The Standard.

McCoy is among those who are pushing the city to allocate money from the opioid center to a private foundation that can distribute the money to drug centers.

“A place to prevent abuse is almost exactly what funds those dollars of settlement,” McCoy said. “I don’t know why we can’t use that money.”

Many drug policy experts see consumption centers as an important part of an integrated plan to reduce drug-related deaths. The city operated a facility called the Tenderloin Center for 11 months last year, returning more than 300 overages during its tenure.

But the Tenderloin Center closed in December without pretending to be in the midst of the above controversy client outcomes and the center impact on the immediate neighborhood. It cost the city $22 million last year.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said he is not concerned about the legal risks of opening a safe-haven and would support the use of securities to do so. But he added that the city should use more money on other projects.

“Nurses in private hospitals are being attacked by people who are brought to emergency rooms, because we don’t have a place to bring people who are mentally ill and intoxicated,” Mandelman said.

“I want to make sure we’re doing other things that I see we’re not doing, and I’m more concerned,” he said.


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