Local Groups Eligible for Grants from CVS Pharmacy Opioid Settlement

A settlement over the dispensing of opioids by CVS Pharmacy Thursday led to the establishment of a $500,000 grant program to support school-based drug prevention programs.

Attorney General Maura Healey said groups may seek grants from the Youth Opioid Prevention Grant program by filing by Friday, Dec. 16. CVS Pharmacy agreed in September to strengthen its policies and procedures around the dispensing of opioids and require its Massachusetts pharmacy staff to check the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) before filling prescriptions for commonly misused opioids.

“Massachusetts is experiencing an opiate epidemic that has reached unprecedented levels and is claiming lives and impacting communities across our state,” Healey said. “This grant money will help fund prevention programs to help equip young people with the tools and knowledge they need to make the right choices and understand the dangers of substance use. Through this funding, our hope is that we can prevent one more parent from losing a child, one more sibling from losing a sister or a brother, or one more child from losing a best friend.”

The Youth Opioid Prevention Grant is open to non-profits, public schools and school districts, community organizations, health providers, youth organizations, municipalities and law enforcement agencies. The state is particularly interested in proposals focused on elementary and middle schools and those that encourage community collaboration.

Healey was joined by Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey and Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch to announce the grant application period. The attorney general’s office will accept applications from entities that propose to implement a sustainable prevention curriculum or prevention programming within a public school or school district in Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, opiate overdoses kill more than five people every day and more than 1,500 people died of a heroin or prescription drug overdose last year.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to the risks of substance use, according to the attorney general. “Ninety percent of all adults struggling with addiction started using when they were under the age of 18, and 50 percent were under the age of 15. However, studies indicate that effective substance use prevention programming can significantly reduce the risk for addiction among young people.”

Full grant proposals must be delivered electronically through an online grant portal Friday, Dec. 16, by 4 p.m. Questions regarding the RFP may be submitted to [email protected] by email until Friday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m.