Westchester County joins a growing list of states and municipalities suing the manufacturers and distributors of highly-addictive opioid medications, according to LoHud.com. The medication, once falsely marketed as a long-term solution for chronic pain, has ensnared communities across the nation as users became addicted and graduated to cheaper drugs, such as heroin, or more powerful – but legal – drugs, such as fentanyl. According to the New York State Department of Health, 143 Westchester and Rockland residents died of an opioid overdose in 2016 – an increase from 110 in just one year. Importantly, this estimate includes legal opioid-based drugs as well as illegal opioid drugs, such as heroin.
The Westchester lawsuit alleges that the makers of opioid-based medications, such as Percocet, Vicodin, and Oxycontin, intentionally misled the public about the dangers of the drugs, including the addictive potential. The makers and distributors of these drugs marketed the medication as a safe, long-term solution to chronic pain, with the knowledge that addiction and dependency were likely to follow for Americans prescribed these drugs. This reckless behavior is the center of Westchester County’s lawsuit against drug companies. Continue reading