Louisiana sheriff's offices file lawsuit over opioid crisis

September 19, 2017 - 9:16 am

(WWL.com)  Four sheriff’s offices in Louisiana have filed lawsuits against drug companies and physicians for allegedly helping to grow the opioid crisis. Attorney David Laborde says the defendants have misrepresented the proper use of opioids which has led to an epidemic and an uptick in crime.

"The local sheriff's in Louisiana have been tasked with dealing with petty crimes to dealing with overdoses and treating inmates as patients rather than as inmates."

Avoyelles, Lafayette, Jefferson Davis and Rapides have filed lawsuits in state courts in their respective parishes. Laborde says the sheriff’s offices are seeking to recoup the money law enforcement has spent on dealing with the opioid epidemic.

"Those monies will lead to some type of abatement programs, rehabilitation programs and education programs to state the effects of the opioid epidemic and hopefully curtail the opioid use and misuse."

Laborde says data from 2015 shows there were more opioid prescriptions than residents, which is a key argument in their lawsuit. He says opioids were originally intended to be used for just a short period in particular with those experiencing end of life pain.

"They expanded the market but marketing them for everyday use and for prolonged continuous use, which has led to an addition epidemic throughout the country."

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