Millions of dollars from several large legal settlements are beginning to flow into Connecticut to help combat the state’s deadly opioid epidemic, and the organizations that work on the front lines battling the state’s mounting addiction crisis are preparing to apply for a portion of that money.

All together, Connecticut’s state and local governments are expected to receive an estimated $600 million over the next decade and beyond, increasing the resources that are available to counteract the ongoing public health crisis.

The stream of cash that is now pouring into the state offers a unique opportunity to expand prevention programs, educational campaigns, drug treatment capacity, overdose response strategies, harm reduction systems and a host of other related services that are needed to support people who are dealing with opioid use disorders, many of whom are also struggling with other mental health diagnosis.

The elected leaders in Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities are formulating plans for how to utilize their share of the money, which includes up to 15% of the proceeds from several of the lawsuits that were filed against nationwide pharmacy chains, pill manufacturers and the country’s largest drug distributors.

Connecticut’s mayors, first selectmen, city councils and town representatives have discretion over how to spend those funds, as long as they stay within the broad terms of the settlement agreements.

The CT Mirror contacted the 15 towns and cities in Connecticut with the highest overdose rates over the past five years to get a sense of how those municipalities are putting the first wave of settlement funding to use.

Some of them, including Chaplin and New Haven, said they don’t plan to spend the money until they receive more information on best practices for using the funding.

But other municipalities are already spending the settlement proceeds on life-saving drugs and new public programs focused on curbing addiction in their communities.

It’s unclear how much of the local settlement money has been spent to this point. And the public is unlikely to get a full picture of how that portion of the funding is being used until later this fall, when towns and cities are required to file an annual report with the state detailing their spending.

Read more: The big question: How to spend $600M in CT opioid settlement funds