Money promised to combat US overdose crisis sits unused

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – A $200 million account set aside as part of Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy case is going unused because attorneys involved in lawsuits against the OxyContin maker can’t agree how to spend it.

Advocates for addiction treatment want it spent to help those struggling with opioid addiction. One attorney says leaving the money sitting in a bank account is a “travesty of epic proportions.”

The spending is being held up because of disagreements among state attorneys general and others who are suing the company.

The U.S. had a record 71,000 overdose deaths last year, most from opioids. The crisis has only grown worse during the coronavirus pandemic.

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