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Florida attorney general sues opioid makers over prescription drug crisis
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi recently filed a lawsuit against some of the biggest opioid makers in the country for the drug epidemic they fueled in the state over the years. Bondi alleged that nine drug manufactures and their subsidiaries used unethical marketing tactics, leading to the ongoing opioid crisis.
In accordance with the lawsuits filed by other cities, counties, and attorneys general across the U.S., Bondi has accused the pharma majors of using deceptive strategies to undermine the habit-forming and harmful nature of opioids that led to sharp increase in number of fatal overdoses in the state. Bondi attacked the opioid makers for violating the Florida RICO Act, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and common law public nuisance.
Meanwhile, an analysis by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times suggests that major opioid manufacturers paid over $1 million to Florida lawmakers over the years. According to the analysis, nearly 89 percent of the said amount was directed to either Republican candidates or Republican committees. The analysis showed that though the amount paid to an individual lawmaker was as nominal as $15,250, it was given to multiple candidates and party committees. The Republican State Leadership Committee allegedly received $225,000, while $429,550 was supposedly given to the Republican Party of Florida.
According to the Florida Health Department, the rate of deaths due to drug overdoses has risen 137 percent since 2000. It’s shocking that the state saw a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose fatalities involving opioids (painkillers and heroin). Experts opine that physicians writing unethical prescriptions for opioid pain relievers resulted in the drug crisis.
Addiction to opioids on the rise
The opioid epidemic in the U.S. is claiming more lives than guns or car crashes. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), 100 million people suffer from chronic pain each year leading to a spike in health care and rehabilitation costs and a decline in productivity. The need of the hour is to accept the fact that there is a nationwide chronic pain problem, and the medications once considered beneficial are actually proving to be detrimental.
Opioid medications are widely used to alleviate pain. Prescription opioids like codeine, Vicodin and OxyContin work wonders in numbing the intense pain signals targeting the brain by inhibiting the neuron cell receptors. But the very neuron cell or opioid receptors that respond to pain signals also regulate emotional impulses such as feelings of euphoria, urges to get high, and the desire for reward. Such a correlation increases the risk of addiction.
The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid-related overdose crisis, as statistics suggest that an alarming six out of 10 drug overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2000 to 2015, more than half a million people died from drug overdoses.
Leading a drug-free life
If you or your loved one is battling addiction to prescription drugs or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Orlando Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you avail one of the best addiction treatment programs and embark on your journey to sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 407-545-6829 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.