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NC faith leaders say opioid funds should be used for harm reduction

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss
Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina will receive $750 million from a settlement with opioid makers and distributors. A group of faith leaders is calling on local governments to use that money with compassion.

Counties and cities will have lots of flexibility in how they spend the funds.

More than 50 clergy members have issued an open letter, asking that the money be spent on harm reduction. This includes expanded availability of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, and medications that are used to treat opioid dependency.

The faith leaders also ask that people who use drugs have a seat at the decision-making table. The group says that would be the best way to make sure settlement money is used to save lives.

The letter closes by asking local leaders to look to their own faith and moral values for guidance.

Read the letter below.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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