If someone told you they were giving you a million dollars, you would be elated but if they then added that you would get the money over a 20-year period you might be a little less delighted, but still pretty pleased.

That was something of the situation Guilford County government was in when county leaders found out that the county was being awarded nearly $40 million in the settlement that local and state governments across the country brought against opioid makers and distributers for their part in the drug epidemic that has caused so much damage to communities.

To be exact, the proceeds that will go to Guilford County from that lawsuit will total $39,276,484 and the county intends to use that money to help address the drug problem in the county – with recovery centers, treatment programs, Narcan purchases, public information campaigns and much more.

But county leaders were disappointed that the funds would be coming in over a 20-year period because the drug and overdose problem is happening right now.

Now, a recent timeline of the payout schedule reveals some good news:  Guilford County is getting more than half of that money in the first three years.

In fact, Guilford County already has nearly $3 million of that money in hand that it can begin using to combat the problem.  In fiscal year, 2022-2023, which began on July 1 of last year, Guilford County received more than $2.8 million in opioid case settlement funds.

The current fiscal year, 2023-2024, is the big one. Payments are already in progress for the fiscal year, during which the county will get  $5.4 million from the drug makers and distributers.

In the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2024, the county will receive another $2.8 million and change.

In fiscal 2025 -2026, Guilford County will get $3.2 million to use to fight the substance abuse epidemic.

After that, payments will gradually shrink over the years, finishing off with a final payment of $959,197 in fiscal year 2038-2039.