The money from the settlement of the giant multi-billion national lawsuit filed by state and local governments against big opioid manufacturers and distributors has started to stream into Guilford County – and now it’s being put to use addressing some of the massive societal problems that have been caused by the epidemic that’s still raging.

The Guilford County commissioners and county staff – together with Daymark Recovery Services – saw a need for an additional 16 “longer-term group living beds” to help people with substance abuse problems.

 The county commissioners have talked for years about a need for more long-term treatment beds and the lawsuit settlement proceeds are now funding that longstanding want.

The beds will be added at Daymark’s Gibson Park facility.

The cost of the additional beds for an entire year comes to over $520,000 – with $271,480 for staff and administration and $249,365 to cover operating costs. In the first year, there will be an additional $22,184 in start-up costs to buy things like new furniture, fixtures and, well, beds of course.

The cost for the remainder of the current fiscal year is $326,000 – that’s the period starting this week and ending June 30 of next year when the current budget expires.

According to county documents, “These beds will provide longer-term residential recovery services for persons with substance use disorders and will include access to existing treatment services on a routine basis.”

 Daymark has been licensed to operate the beds for years, according to the information provided by the county. However, the beds haven’t been in use due to “staffing and funding limitations.”

Operation of the additional 16 long-term group living beds will require Daymark to add four employees to meet staff to patient ratio requirements of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The beds should be in service in about three months, but that will depend on how quickly Daymark can fill the four specialized positions.

Daymark estimates that the new beds will serve about 32 clients a year.