ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership has started divvying out funds from opioid settlements. The money will go towards groups across Arkansas working on recovery and prevention efforts for drugs in the state.

So far, $3,489,812 million have already been distributed to 15 groups including Next Step Recovery Housing and DEA Divine Intervention, Inc.

The partnership started with around $16 million to allocate, but cities and counties individually will receive more than $250 million over the next 12 to 16 years. AORP director, Kirk Lane, wanted to make sure the allocation for cities and counties was different than the state’s allocations.

“Mainly in the grassroots, being able to do stuff that the state wasn’t able to do because of regulations. For example, opportunities for faith-based, small organizations who weren’t competitive in the state system. So, it gives us a unique opportunity to reach down in the weeds and mainly in the communities where a lot of people need help in the rural communities,” said Lane.

The partnership is run by an advisory board made up of a diverse group of people. Doctors, parents of addicted individuals, law enforcement officials, those who recovered from addiction and attorneys are on the board.

One of the first things the partnership did was create the Arkansas Naloxone Bank. It cost the group $500,000. Groups can come to the AORP, they will be taught how to train and disperse Naloxone, and they are given credit to use in the Arkansas Naloxone Bank.

“It’ll be sent to them and credited to the bank. Then, they’re able to push that out and they can order it and get it in about two days,” said Lane.

According to Lane, Arkansas overdose death rates have been climbing every year for the past three years. That’s largely due to fentanyl flooding the illegal drug markets. Lane is hopeful this funding will greatly reduce drug issues in the state.

You can go to the AORP’s website to find out how to apply for assistance. Lane is encouraging local groups, working to put a stop to the opioid epidemic, to apply. There are no deadlines, any group that meets the qualifications can apply anytime.