SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Commissioners approved a policy that will guide how the county spends over $14 million it received from a statewide opioid settlement.
The county has already spent $1.5 million providing Narcan to the Bexar County’s Sheriff’s Office, creating a substance use disorder coordinator and expanding a woman’s recovery center, Casa Mia.
Brittany Khan is preparing to start a new life after spending the last few months at the Casa Mia recovery home.
Khan said Casa Mia gave her the support to recover, care for her daughter Isabella, and the ability to graduate with her associate’s degree this spring.
“My whole life, I wanted to be a mother. I also didn’t want to be a mother that left her children because of her addiction,” Khan said. “What this place means to me is life. Because without it is death.”
Casa Mia is in this older building with the capacity of 20 women, but a portion of Bexar County’s funds from its opioid settlement will go toward a brand new facility with space for 40 women and their children.
Dr. Andrea Guerrero-Guajardo, with the Bexar County Preventative Health Department, helped create the policy that will determine how the rest of the county’s settlement money will be spent.
“When we’re addressing opioid addiction, opioid overdose, substance abuse, we really have the opportunity to create a better existence for their entire family,” Guerrero-Guajardo said.
That includes prevention efforts like training pharmacists to review a patient’s prescription history to avoid overprescribing.
“The best way to treat addiction is not to create someone with an addiction in the first place,” Guerrero-Guajardo said.
Recovery is a lifelong journey, so some of the money will go toward helping with employment, affordable housing and violence reduction.
“Any one of those things can trigger a relapse into addiction again or tap into active using,” Guerrero-Guajardo said.
For Khan, having a safe place for herself and her daughter opened up doors she never expected to enter.
“For me to feel more comfortable and more confident… to be able to do things I know I can do, but having this foundation. It gives me the ability to really be able to do it,” Khan said.
The new Casa Mia building is set to be built this time next year.