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.