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Summit County sues drugmakers, distributors for opioid crisis

When you think of someone who commits drug crimes, the last thing that likely comes to mind is the drug producer itself. Pharmaceutical companies are coming under fire, though, because it's being alleged that they knew that the drugs they were selling were addictive and yet continued to push them to doctors.

Now, 22 public agencies, cities, villages and towns in Summit County have decided to do something about their claims. They are pursuing lawsuits against three distributors of pain medications and 11 manufacturers of said pills. The lawsuit aims to draw attention to the marketing of deadly and addictive medications, which many believe has lead to the current opioid crisis.

Fighting the opioid crisis isn't cheap. According to the news, it costs around $150 million or more over the course of a decade just to keep up with the rising death toll of the crisis. It adds up to around $2.6 million per year. They claim that more people died from opioid overdoses in the county between 2015 and 2016 than between the years of 2000 and 2010 combined. The county medical examiner explained that there has been a 209 percent increase in overdoses.

After pursuing those who make or distribute these drugs, the individuals have another goal: to find out who is prescribing these medications to people who don't need them or to those who are becoming tolerant to them. If medical providers are helping the epidemic grow, then they need to also be held accountable.

If you're ever charged with a drug crime, a defense is necessary whether you're a medical provider or someone making a living on the streets. No case is the same, and you have a right to protect your name and reputation.

Source: Akron Beacon Journal, "22 local agencies, communities sue for at least $66 million from pain pill makers, distributors," Doug Livingston, Dec. 22, 2017

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