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State launches website to connect Iowans with opioid addiction resources

The Iowa Attorney General's Office has launched a new website to connect Iowa to resources for opioid addiction treatment.

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has launched a new website for those looking for help with opioid use disorder.

The website — iowaopioidhelp.com — connects Iowans to resources in their area and will provide general information about opioid addition.

"It's not a status of life. It's not a series of wrongdoings. It's a disease," said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. "It should be treated as a disease, and it's treatable as a disease. Drug treatment can work."

The information on addiction is meant to destigmatize the illness, said Lynn Hicks, the chief of staff for the Attorney General's Office.

"Not only is this aimed at people suffering from opioid use disorder, as well as their loved ones who want to try to get them out, but also to the public to let them know that this is an illness," he said.

According to state data, 258 Iowans died of opioid overdoses last year, an increase of more than 21 percent from 2020.

So far, Iowa expects to receive nearly $178 million from settlements with opioid manufacturers in the next 18 years.

Miller said he expects that settlement to go up to $225 million eventually.

The settlement money will be divided between state and local governments.

The Iowa Attorney General's Office has already used $3.8 million in state settlement funds toward developing a statewide comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. It launched last year.

Natalie Krebs is IPR's Health Reporter