The study announced Thursday aims to cut overdose deaths by 40% over three years in local communities grappling with misuse of the addictive drugs. Researchers will study evidence-based techniques for fighting addiction and overdose, such as medication-based treatments like methadone and criminal justice reforms.
The grants from the National Institutes of Health will go the University of Kentucky, Boston Medical Center, New York City's Columbia University and Ohio State University.
Government officials across the U.S. have been fighting a multi-decade epidemic of opioid addiction, which includes not only prescription painkillers, but also illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl. Deaths linked to those drugs rose to a record 48,000 in 2017.
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.