HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii is set to battle the opioid addiction problem with a $78 million settlement from the makers and distributors of the highly addictive drugs. This comes as one in four accidental deaths in the state are from drug overdoses.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi, and Maui Mayor Michael Victorino held a press conference at the state Capitol on Tuesday, Aug. 9 to discuss the matter.

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The $78 million for Hawaii is part of the $26 billion settlement that will be distributed nationwide. The governor said it comes as opioid overdose deaths now outpace auto accident fatalities.

“In Hawaii, drug overdose deaths account for 24% of all fatal injuries, which include deaths from prescription opioids,” said Ige.

Ige said an advisory council consisting of county and state experts will put together a plan on how to use the money wisely. And each county will be able to determine how its share will be spent.

Blangiardi said he’d like to put priority on education and adding more treatment centers.

“This is something that spans all generations,” said Blangiardi. “So I think education and then actually having treatment centers is something that I’ve really gotten in touch with in our battle against homelessness and some of the other issues that we’re dealing with.”

Jeff Nash the executive director of Habilitat said that amount of money can make a big difference. He would like to see more resources focus on prevention, and education is a good step forward.

“We have not done a good job as we could in terms of funding and producing programs that do prevention, childhood and teenage years and things like that,” said Nash. “I think we need to do a better job of educating people and what that is and what it can do.”

He pointed out that fentanyl overdoses are a growing concern that should be addressed.

“We have high school kids that are dying from fentanyl overdoses. We have young adults with promising futures that are dying from fentanyl overdoses. It’s not just the quote-unquote, undesirables in our community,” said Nash.

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He added that education should include training the community on how to use the overdose antidote drug known as Narcan. He said it’s controversial but it’s safe and it can save lives.