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Rowan County board to review applications for opioid abatement funding

Samantha Morrill

Some groups in Rowan County may soon be able to make use of opioid abatement funds.

Officials said applications opened last summer for more than $200,000 worth of settlement money to help the community recover. Five groups have applied so far, and a review board is expected to begin looking at their plans and applications this month.

Cecil Watkins is the Rowan County Attorney and a member of the review board. He said funds can be used in a variety of ways.

“It’s not always, I know people think that the rehabs are going to get this money. I don’t think that that’s necessarily what this money’s for. You can think outside the box, the other effects that the opioids have had on the community and how to fix some of those problems,” said Watkins.

Watkins added that funds can be used to cover any number of issues within the community.

“Some of it can go to emergency responders, some issues they’ve had. Provide scholarships and support for certified addiction counselors, and it can actually be even a part of a loan repayment program. Those are just issues, particular circumstances, that they’ve put in the statute,” said Watkins.

Applications are still open to receive funds from the opioid settlement, and Watkins said there are no hard deadlines.