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James announces Long Island drug recovery funds as she mulls run for governor

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks at a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in New York.
Ted Shaffrey
Associated Press
New York State Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James said Long Island will receive over $200 million in settlement payments to help combat the opioid epidemic. She made the announcement during a tour of the state she is making as she decides whether to run for New York governor.

The money comes from lawsuits against a slew of drug makers and distributors.

James met with elected officials and substance use survivors at the Thrive recovery center in Hauppauge.

“We're delivering as much as $1.5 billion — that's with a ‘B’ — to New Yorkers. And this is not over. We will be getting more money as a result of additional and upcoming settlements,” James said.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone accompanied James during the announcement.

“It's critical that we continue to emphasize the fact that this did not just happen — it was the result of a sophisticated effort by a slew of drug manufacturers, retailers, distributors and individuals who chose to put profits over people,” Bellone said.

The funds will be used for substance treatment, prevention and recovery programs.

James said the state could receive more money from lawsuits against Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.