Communities target companies who profited from fanning addiction
Combine corporate deceit and greed with medical neglect and lack of oversight with a highly addictive and potentially deadly product, and what do you get? 50,000 deaths per year in the “Land of the Free”.
Now, as the overdose carnage continues to gain momentum, many states and communities are looking upstream to the source of a great majority of the addictions – prescription opioids.
“We kept seeing our crime problems and overdose deaths going up every year, and we got no response for anyone with the federal government,” Mayor Paul Billups of Ceredo, West Virginia, told The Daily Beast. “They didn’t have a plan, so we decided to come up with a plan. We decided caring for people is more important than marketing and profits.”
Ceredo is one of about 250 states, counties, and cities that have filed lawsuits against multiple pharmaceutical companies and distributors of opioid prescription pills that are blamed for turning pain patients into heroin addicts.
Richie Webber is one such victim. A star high-school track and football athlete 10 years ago, Webber got injured, got on pain pills, and got hooked. It led to heroin use and two nearly fatal overdoses. Webber has been clean for about three years and works with a community group in his native Ohio to help people like him get treatment.
“I find it really odd when the pharmaceutical companies that make pills like OxyContin claim they are nonaddictive and just help people with pain,” he said. “Well, let’s look at it from my perspective. We’ve helped more than 300 people get into rehab this year, and 90 percent of them started with prescription pain pills. That’s nonaddictive?”
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To read more about how Big Pharma is being sued by communities and states all across the country, please visit The Daily Beast.