39ºF

Michigan communities team up against drug makers they deem responsible for opioid epidemic

Federal lawsuit claims companies responsible for drug crisis

DETROIT – Michigan companies are teaming up and going after who they believe is responsible for America's opioid epidemic: The drug manufacturers who make the drugs.

In their sights are the companies behind pain pills. History has shown abuse of pain pills has led to abuse of drugs such as heroin.

A federal lawsuit demands pharmaceutical manufacturers be held responsible for such abuse and addiction. The lawsuit alleges racketeering, aggressive over-promotion, fraudulent claims and reckless production.

About 175 Americans die every day from opioid use. About 75 percent of opioid abusers began their addiction through prescription opioids since the 2000s. Those statistics are according to Macomb County officials. The county is part of nine other Michigan municipalities -- including Detroit and Lansing -- backing this lawsuit.

"In addition to the tragic loss of life, counties and cities across Michigan have sustained significant costs for providing additional medical care, rehabilitation and treatment for those suffering addiction, dependence, overdose and death; increased law enforcement and public safety personnel; and treatment, care or foster placement for minors suffering from parental addictions," a statement from the group reads.

Wayne and Oakland counties filed a similar lawsuit going after pharmaceutical companies for marketing practices.


About the Authors: