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Posted on: June 5, 2017

City files suit against drug companies responsible for opioid epidemic

Today, Mayor Nan Whaley announced the City of Dayton will file suit against pharmaceutical companies, distributors and physicians responsible for the opioid epidemic.

To date in 2017, Dayton police, fire and EMS have responded to more than 1,800 calls for service related to suspected overdoses. Dayton is now on track to more than double overdose-related responses this year.

"The opioid epidemic was no accident," said Whaley. "These big drug companies have destroyed too many lives, broken too many families and done so much damage to our communities. People are hooked on drugs and there are enormous challenges for communities like Dayton. Ever since this crisis was created, our community has been forced to focus our time, attention and your tax dollars on addressing the heroin epidemic."

First responders have given over 7,600 mgs of Narcan in the field this year, saving thousands of lives. In five months, Dayton has already surpassed the amount of Narcan used in all of 2016 by over 50 percent. The opioid epidemic, which started with legally prescribed medications, became a heroin problem and is now a fentanyl problem, taxing the public safety team to the limit.  Montgomery County has had 348 presumed accidental overdoses this year.

"This is about justice for our communities. Justice for our taxpayers. Justice for the families who have lost a loved one. And justice for the people and families who are struggling with addiction right now," continued Whaley.

Through the suit, Dayton is seeking recovery of cost to the community, including increases in law enforcement, educational and community programs, and drug support programs to respond to the opioid epidemic. Communities will never be able to recoup the thousands of family members, friends and loved ones lost to the epidemic.

The City of Lorain plans to soon file suit as well.

"Cities big and small across Ohio are struggling to serve our citizens with the increasing number of accidental overdoses," said Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer. "It is time that the companies and distributers who started this epidemic take responsibility for the communities that have been ravaged as a result of the medications they produce. It is my sincere hope that mayors across the state will join Mayor Whaley and me as we pursue justice for Ohio communities."

View a related video here.
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