By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced on Wednesday a big settlement from the nation’s largest drug distributors, including Johnson & Johnson. Weiser said the settlement is for the companies’ role in creating and fueling the opioid crisis.

Companies will pay a collective $26 billion nationwide and Colorado will receive at least $300 million of that settlement. It will be paid out over 18 months.

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The money will be used to support addiction recovery and treatment as well as education and prevention programs.

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“For family members who’ve suffered loss and have dedicated their time and effort to helping others, I applaud you and I am pained by your losses. This shouldn’t have happened. It didn’t happen in other countries. We’re going to do our best to stop it from happening again in any form,” said Weiser.

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Weiser said the money will only be accessible for opioid and substance prevention and recovery efforts.

Jennifer McRae