SC Opioid Recovery Fund Board in charge of opioid settlement funds

A newly created board will oversee more than $360 million coming to South Carolina from opioid settlements.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 11:05 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Hundreds of millions of dollars will be coming to South Carolina, as part of a $26 billion national settlement.

“Overall the idea is to reduce the rate of death and the rate of overdose,” explained Eric Bedingfield.

Created by the legislature this year, the South Carolina Opioid Recovery Fund (SCORF) Board is made up of nine members who serve four or six-year terms.

This board is in charge of managing and distributing any money from opioid-related settlements, with Bedingfield serving as Chair right now.

“There’s just a myriad of opportunities for us to impact the public in lots of different places just based on these dollars,” he said.

Bedingfield lost his son about six years ago to a fentanyl overdose and knows the pain and struggle addiction can cause firsthand.

“All I know is I want to see each and every one of those dollars have the ability to impact positively the lives of people in South Carolina,” he said.

As money comes in organizations or agencies that deal with addiction, recovery, or work with the opioid crisis, can apply for money from the board. The SCORF Board will also spend money itself. Bedingfield says it could be used to buy more Naloxone, a medication that reverses overdoses, and provide training on how to use it. Other potential funding options include Medication Assisted Treatment programs and making sure healthcare providers are trained to deal with opioid use disorder o name a few.

“I don’t believe there’s a panacea right now to solve the problem and that’s why we need to cast a pretty wide net and allow people to gravitate to the things that help them as an individual,” explained Bedingfield.

The national settlement will oversee the board. It gave out guidelines on the money should be spent. Those guidelines are broad, but if the settlement feels they aren’t being met it can appeal and possibly withhold funding.

Here in South Carolina Bedingfield hopes this will send a message to those struggling.

“We’re here, we’re ready to help. We want to do what it takes to make a difference,” he said.

The SCORF Board is currently working on updating and finishing a website, you can find that if you click here.