Publication Date: 
Thursday, December 8, 2022

As the overdose epidemic continues to ravage the United States, approximately 3,000 state and local governments have sued opioid manufacturers and distributors to compensate for opioid-related harms. These lawsuits have resulted in major structured settlements to certain states and local governments, presenting an opportunity to support a public health approach to abating the epidemic. Based in part on lack of restrictions on 1998 tobacco settlements state spending, which was often not targeted at tobacco control and cessation, national experts partnered to develop model state legislation directing use of opioid litigation proceeds. The model policy dedicates funding from settlements to redress opioid crisis harms through substance use disorder programming, other evidence-based measures, and a council to administer and direct the fund. 

This dataset examines state laws that direct the use of opioid litigation proceeds. These data can be used to assess states’ progress in enacting the opioid litigation proceeds model act, identify gaps in existing state laws, and demonstrate the utility of policy surveillance methods for assessing adherence and diffusion of model legislation. 

This dataset, published on, is cross-sectional and displays key features of opioid litigation proceeds laws across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in effect as of August 1, 2022. This project was developed in partnership with the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association with funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President. Points of view or opinions expressed related to this dataset are those of the researchers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Office of National Drug Control Policy or the United States Government.