Tennessee's Opioid Abatement Council was created by the Tennessee General Assembly in Public Chapter 491 to manage the disbursement of proceeds from lawsuits relating to opioids. The Council upholds the responsibility to ensure the disbursements of these funds go toward funding programs, strategies, expenditures, and other actions designed to prevent and address the misuse and abuse of opioid products and treat or mitigate opioid use or related disorders or other effects of the opioid epidemic. Disbursement directives include:
- Funding or supporting opioid abatement and remediation purposes and related administrative costs
- Incorporating input from the TDMHSAS Statewide Planning and Policy Council’s Need Assessment Process
- Developing policies for stakeholder input
- Reporting annually on funds deposited, strategies funded, and disbursements made
The membership of the Council is appointed by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the House Speaker, the Tennessee County Services Association, and the Tennessee Municipal League. Additionally, the Commissioner of TDMHSAS serves on the Council as a non-voting member. Appointees of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the House Speaker serve an initial four year term. Appointees of the TN County Services Association and Municipal League serve an initial five year term.
At its first meeting, the Council confirmed Mary Shelton to serve as Executive Director. Ms. Shelton and any other staff supporting the Council will be TDMHSAS employees. You can find more information on our Contact Us page.
The video below features comments from Council Chairman Dr. Stephen Loyd and Council Executive Director Mary Shelton. They discuss some of the Counci's initial work including the first direct payments for counties, the makeup of the council, and why openness is essential in the process.