Medication-assisted treatment. Training on how to administer Narcan. Education and stigma reduction. These are just a few of the initiatives funded by Buncombe County’s opioid settlement money to address the local impact of the opioid crisis.
Buncombe behavioral health manager Victoria Reichard noted that the county has received roughly $2 million of a more than $16 million lawsuit settlement, negotiated with pharmaceutical companies over their role in the opioid epidemic, this fiscal year. Of those funds, a county team has recommended about $518,000 in immediate spending.
Representatives from the city and county recognize their respective spending must be intentional in focus and coordinated with each other’s work.
In total, Dogwood approved 287 funding requests of the 354 grant applications in 2021. The nonprofit also reports that it added 21 new staff members to the organization.