Forty-nine states are demanding, according to a Reuters report from Purdue Pharma L.P. a total of $ 2.2 trillion for their role in the opioid epidemic. Purdue makes OxyContin, a prescription opioid analgesic. It is believed that Purdue marketed the pain relievers to doctors but did not do enough to explain the possibility of addiction and overdose.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that the U.S. government is demanding $ 11 billion from Purdue. That money would be both criminal and civil compensation.
Purdue declared bankruptcy in 2019 after a wave of lawsuits were filed against the company and the Sackler family, who own the company.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the opioid epidemic dates back to the 1990s when companies underestimated the risks of drug dependence and doctors began to prescribe opioid pain relievers to their patients. However, it turned out that these drugs were incredibly addicting. The crisis became a public health emergency in 2017. An estimated 130 people die from an opioid overdose every day, according to the HHS. Many people who are addicted to pain medication turn to heroin when they cannot get any more medication. In 2018, 15,449 people overdosed on heroin; 81,000 people used heroin for the first time.
The American Psychological Association says the opioid crisis has claimed more victims than addicts. Between 2013 and 2015, 7% more children were accepted into the care system. The article cites parental substance use as a factor in 32% of all internships, an increase of 10% compared to 2005.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the economic burden of the opioid crisis at $ 78.5 billion a year.