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Fiscal Notes: Fentanyl Flowing Into Texas

In response to the number of opioid-related drug deaths stemming from prescription misuse over the last 20 years, Texas and 13 other states filed a lawsuit against several pharmaceutical companies for their role in causing the opioid crisis. As a result, through settlement agreements, Texas will receive an anticipated $1.6 billion over the next 18 years from six different companies.

In 2021, the 87th Texas Legislature created the Texas Opioid Abatement Fund Council, administered by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s agency, to guide how the state spends money from these settlements to address opioid abuse and addiction in Texas.

In January’s issue of Fiscal Notesthe Comptroller’s office details the council’s work as it ensures that the money recovered from multi-state settlements and court orders is divided relatively and used to remediate the opioid crisis faced by the state.

This issue of Fiscal Notes also examines the devastating effects of fentanyl, a type of synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

“Doctors can prescribe fentanyl as a strong painkiller or anesthetic, but when misused or used illegally, it is one of the most dangerous drugs,” Hegar said. “In 2021 alone, there were nearly 1,700 fentanyl-related deaths in Texas. And the smuggling of this deadly drug across the Texas-Mexico border by gangs and cartels became an epidemic in and of itself.”

Fiscal Notes It will further the Comptroller’s constitutional responsibility to monitor the state’s economy and estimate state government revenues. They have published the report since 1975, featuring in-depth analysis concerning state finances and original research by subject-matter experts in the Comptroller’s office.