ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. – Rockingham County is taking on a long list of opioid manufacturers and distributors in a lawsuit.
Attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of County Commissioners on Tuesday. The 165-page complaint alleges manufacturers used “false, deceptive and unfair marketing of opioids.”
The suit claims companies, "falsely deny or trivialize the risks of opioids while overstating the benefits of using them for chronic pain."
So far this year, 45 people have died from opioid overdoses in Rockingham County. That’s more than double the 21 deaths seen in 2016, and quadruple the 11 deaths in 2014, according to Emergency Management.
According to the CDC, there were around 1.3 opioid prescriptions given out per person in Rockingham county in 2016. That's more opioid prescriptions than people living in the entire county.
County Commissioners say the opioid epidemic is costing the community. They cited Narcan costs, extra training needed for law enforcement, and the many lives being lost.
They're hoping to get back some of the costs in this lawsuit and use the money for preventative education.