Opioid Addiction
June 14, 2018
Will new strategies be effective?

Opioid abuse continues to devastate American communities, with more than 115 people dying each day after overdosing on oxycodone, fentanyl, heroin or another opioid. The Trump administration, Congress and states have taken steps to combat over-prescribing by doctors and allegedly deceptive advertising by manufacturers, and to expand treatment options for addicts. But some drug-treatment experts say those efforts are not enough to deal with the deadliest drug overdose crisis in U.S. history. State and local governments have taken opioid manufacturers to court, alleging their marketing practices encouraged abuse. Some of those companies have promised to stop marketing consumer painkillers to doctors, and some drugstore chains are restricting access to opioids.

Firefighters in Rockford, Ill., bring the victim of an opioid overdose to a hospital on July 14, 2017. More than 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016. Opioids also cost the country more than $1 trillion in lost productivity, health care expenses, law enforcement services and other costs from 2001 through 2017. (Getty Images/Scott Olson)   Firefighters in Rockford, Ill., bring the victim of an opioid overdose to a hospital on July 14, 2017. More than 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016. Opioids also cost the country more than $1 trillion in lost productivity, health care expenses, law enforcement services and other costs from 2001 through 2017. (Getty Images/Scott Olson)

On May 15, six states — Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas — sued pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, accusing it of contributing to the national opioid epidemic. The suits said Perdue misled doctors and patients about the addictive properties of its pain medications, including Oxycontin, one of the most widely abused opioids in the country.

“As Purdue got rich from sales of its opioids, Texans and others across the nation were swept up in a public health crisis that led to tens of thousands of deaths each year to due opioid overdoses,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said at a news conference. 1

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