Arkansas recovery group using settlement money to fight opioid addiction

Author: Frederick Price (KTHV)

Published: 6:23 PM CST January 6, 2023

Updated: 6:23 PM CST January 6, 2023

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As the battle against opioid addiction in Arkansas continues, the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership (ARORP) has stepped up to provide some much-needed assistance.

Back in November, ARORP announced its plans to disperse money from an opioid settlement. “Arkansas is still number two in opioids as it pertains to opioids abuse,” said Tenesha Barnes, Deputy Director of the ARORP.

That’s a number that Barnes still found startling.

“We are still working in fighting to get down those numbers,” Barnes added.

She explained that a total of $216 million from an opioid settlement will go to organizations and agencies helping fight the opioid epidemic for the next 16 to 18 years.

The partnership involves the Association of Arkansas Counties and the Arkansas Municipal League.

So far, five entities that signed up for the partnership have received funding, and 18 will be receiving resources from the funding.

Barnes said that the application, albeit simple, requires justification.

“There are five categories of applications. We call them proposals that can get you this funding,” Barnes described.

The categories are ARORP General Category Program, Overdose Response Team (ORT), Naloxone Community Hero Program, Coalition Partnership Empowerment (COPE), and ARORP Leadership Proposal.

The purpose of the partnership, Barnes added, is to get communities involved to end the battle against opioids.

“This issue is not just one person. It’s all of us [and] it’s going to take all of us to make this work,” Barnes said.

As of now, the partnership has received $16 million.

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