Cities File Suit in Opioid Crisis

March 9, 2018

We’re seeing stories all across the state about cities and counties joining in class action lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors for the expenses incurred by their community due to the overabundance of such painkillers and how they were marketed and made available. GMA provided cities with this perspective on joining in the suits.  
Opioid abuse impacts communities everywhere and the problem continues to grow, with experts noting it’s a multiple epidemics:

“We often talk about the opioid epidemic as a singular epidemic. But if you look at it it’s actually two distinct epidemics going on simultaneously,” said Jon Zibbell, a senior public health scientist at RTI International, a public health nonprofit. “In some states, prescription opioids were driving the epidemic. In other states, illicit opioids are driving the epidemic. And in some states it’s both.”

 The Gainesville Times has done a podcast on the epidemics, highlighting the people who became addicted to drugs. The Times notes that the number of Americans who died from opioid overdose in 2016 would equal “the city of Gainesville disappearing.”
Every community in the state has a story to tell about the toll opioids are taking on individuals, families, work places and local governments.
If you’re covering this issue, some questions you may want to address: What is your city doing to address the issue? Who else in your community are partners in finding solutions? What resources exist for addicts and their families?

Amy Henderson:; Cell: 404-387-0624, Twitter: @amyh_gma
Kelli Bennett:; Cell: 404-796-5508, Twitter: @KelliB_GMA
GMA on Twitter: @gacities

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