Waukesha County

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Waukesha County Previews 2023 Budget with Proposals for Opioid Settlement and ARPA Funds


On this International Overdose Awareness Day, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow is offering a preview of his proposed 2023 County Executive Budget by announcing plans to fight the opioid crisis and support mental health outcomes through use of settlement and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

“Substance use and mental health go hand-in-hand, so our plan aims to address underlying factors of both issues,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “We are working with community partners to leverage these funds in four key areas: prevention, treatment & recovery, harm reduction, and criminal justice.”

 Opioid Settlement Funds Proposal

In July, Waukesha County received its initial payment from two opioid lawsuit settlements. In his 2023 Budget, County Executive Farrow proposes to include nearly $730,000 of settlement funds to be used accordingly:

  • $188,000 to enhance Waukesha County’s Drug Treatment Court, which advances public safety while reducing crime by providing intensive, integrated, evidence-based court supervision and comprehensive treatment services for drug-dependent offenders. 
  • $225,000 to expand existing correctional treatment programs to reduce relapses and recidivism. 
  • $316,000 for treatment and testing for adult and youth patients. 

The settlements are part of a $26 billion deal with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson. Litigation continues against other defendants, which includes pharmacies, manufacturers and others. Settlement funds from distributors will be paid out over 18 years; funds from Johnson & Johnson will be paid over no more than 9 years.

Use of ARPA Funds to Address COVID-19 Mental Health Impacts

Waukesha County recognizes the role that mental health plays in substance use, and thus will also propose to use ARPA funds to address mental health outcomes exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including: 

  • Expanding the law enforcement embedded counselor program 
  • Doubling the number of youth who can access county mental health services 
  • Upgrading the Waukesha County Mental Health Center to include a Crisis Stabilization Unit
    • Enhancing the County’s child welfare infrastructure

More information about Waukesha County’s COVID-19 recovery efforts are available here.

These proposals are in addition to the continuation of existing Waukesha County prevention and treatment programs. On August 1, 2022, the County Executive declared fentanyl a community health crisis.

The 2023 Waukesha County Executive Budget will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on September 27, 2022.

About Waukesha County 

The mission of Waukesha County government is to promote the health, safety and quality of life of citizens while fostering an economically vibrant community.  More information is available at www.waukeshacounty.gov.   Follow us on Facebook at and Twitter for updates about County programs and events.

More information about Waukesha County’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis is available at www.waukeshacounty.gov/overdoseprevention. 

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