Forsyth County is preparing to distribute more funding from a multi-million dollar state settlement with opioid distributors and manufacturers. The county has already dispersed more than $1 million to programs aimed at combating the opioid crisis. 

The last round of funding went to seven different organizations providing services ranging from medication-assisted treatment to overdose antidote distribution. Denise Price, the county’s behavioral health services director, says they have been receiving monthly progress reports from each of the recipients. 

“We're seeing a lot of innovative thinking, which is exactly what we need," says Price. "We know that there are some things that we are doing that are very efficient and effective. And we want those things to continue. But we also know and recognize that if we continue to do things exactly like we're doing them now, we're probably going to continue to get the exact same kinds of outcomes that we're receiving.”

Price says one example of innovation is a pharmacy that includes overdose antidotes with each opioid prescription, and offering a drug takeback program for leftover medication to prevent it from being misused. She’s hoping to see more approaches like this in applications for the next round of funding. 

Under the terms of the 18-year settlement agreement, the county could distribute more than $5 million next year alone. Price says they will begin accepting applications in February. 

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