It’s been a long time coming, but Guilford County is just about ready to start spending the funds it’s receiving as part of a giant nationwide lawsuit against drug companies and other outlets which contributed to the major opioid epidemic that’s done so much damage locally and nationally.

On Monday, Oct. 17, Guilford County announced that it will host an “Opioid Settlement Funds meeting” on Halloween – Monday, October 31.

The meeting will be at 2 p.m. in the first-floor conference room in the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services’ Greensboro office at 1203 Maple St.

According to Guilford County officials, that meeting “will offer municipalities and townships the opportunity to receive an overview of the Opioid Settlement project, learn about certain funding requirements and discuss next steps to address the County’s opioid crisis.”

Everyone knows the wheels of justice turn slowly, and it was nearly five years ago when Guilford County first announced that it was participating in a major civil lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors over what county officials claimed was the industry’s reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of county residents.

Guilford County commissioners, county legal and administrative staff and outside attorneys met in several closed sessions in 2017 in early 2018 to discuss the legal proceedings prior to Guilford County’s decision to join the suit against the companies in the multi-billion-dollar industry.

Guilford County officials argued that the large pharmaceutical companies were responsible for the wrongful distribution of prescription opiates that have hurt the county’s population as well as its finances.

Opioid addiction has been a rampant problem in the US and Guilford County – especially in parts of High Point – for nearly two decades.

The county’s central legal argument was that the widespread availability of opiates along with the failure of the industry to control the distribution of the drug created the current crisis that, in many cases, has led to the death of residents.