The opioid crisis sweeping the nation has caused many states and local governments to sue large manufacturers of drugs such as Oxycontin, Fentanyl, and Hydrocodone. On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice would support the national litigation with an official statement of intent. Sessions estimated that 64,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016.

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice would support the national litigation with an official statement of intent. Sessions estimated that 64,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016.

 

The lawsuit is comprised of hundreds of complaints by cities, counties, and Native American Tribes. The suit alleges that the manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid painkillers use deceptive marketing practices that have contributed to the epidemic.


Vernon Parish has joined the fight against the opioid crisis. Back in September, VPSO Sheriff Sam Craft stated that he and his department see the negative ramifications that opioid abuse has caused. The VPSO is one of many organizations in the state to join the national litigation.

 

The litigation is intended to award damages to provide relief to the area by suing for the cost to treat those afflicted by opioid addiction, costs for law enforcement, and costs for public safety. Sessions alleges citizens addicted to opioids have cost the government $115 billion in 2017, and have cost a staggering $1 trillion since 2001.

 

Sessions also announced that the DOJ will soon have a task force to ensure opioid distributors and manufacturers are in compliance with the law, and punish those who are in violation. “We will use criminal penalties,” Sessions said. “We will use civil penalties. We will use whatever tools we have to hold people accountable for breaking our laws.”