Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Local governments struggle to distribute their share of billions from opioid settlements

Settlement money to help stem the decades-long opioid addiction and overdose epidemic is rolling out to small towns and big cities across the U.S., but advocates worry that chunks of it may be used in ways that don't make a dent in the crisis.

As state and local governments navigate how to use the money, advocates say local governments may not have the bandwidth to take the right steps to identify their communities' needs and direct their funding shares to projects that use proven methods to prevent deaths.

Opioids have been linked to about 800,000 deaths in the U.S. since 1999, including more than 80,000 annually in recent years, with most of those involving illicitly produced fentanyl.


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