San Marcos City Council approved a $100,000 contract with Cenikor—a nonprofit drug rehabilitation and mental health organization—to provide a program for opioid treatment, awareness and education on March 19.

The background

In September 2017, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a bipartisan coalition of 40 other states began an investigation into eight companies that distribute or manufacture opioid drugs. Paxton announced a global settlement with eleven companies including:
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Endo
  • Teva
  • Allergan
  • AmerisourceBergen
  • Cardinal Health
  • McKesson
  • Mallinckrodt
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
City Council approved resolutions authorizing the city of San Marcos to opt in to the settlement agreements with opioid manufacturers on Dec. 15, 2021 and April 4, 2023 according to agenda documents.

By opting into the settlements, the city may be entitled to $600,000 in monetary relief that could be used for different drug treatment and diversion programs.

About the program

Cenikor will be integrating Medicated Assistant Treatment assessments with prevention education and harm reduction approaches to mitigate the impacts of opioid use within the community.

Contract funds will go toward hiring a nurse practitioner to administer MAT induction assessments and follow up on maintenance and medication orders. The budgeted $100,000 will also go toward hiring a part-time team member to document and support the full scope of services for the program, according to agenda documents.

Cenikor will be providing training for local healthcare providers and collaborating with the Hays County Local Health Department and other local entities to provide training and increased access to Naloxone, a medication that works to reverse an opioid overdose. Cenikor will also work to complete a fentanyl education initiative at local school districts, focusing on grades 6-12 and partner with Texas State University and other local stakeholders to highlight the dangers of fentanyl abuse.

The program will be managed by the director of ancillary services and run from April 1, 2024 to April 2025.