City of Sarasota is suing pharmaceutical giants in wake of opioid crisis

HOWEVER, IF THEY VOLUNTEER TO DO SO, THEY’D HAVE UNDERTO GO 400 HOURS OF TRAINING. OFFICIALS HAVE FILED A LAWSUIT SAYING THAT THE COMPANIES BEAR THE BLAME FOR THIS NATIONAL OPIOID EPIDEMIC. JOHN ROGERS TELLS US US WHAT THEY PLAN TO DO WITH THE MONEY. Reporter: GOOD EVENING. CITY OFFICIALS SAY THIS IS MORE ABOUT JUST RECOVERING MONEY. IT’S ABOUT SAVING LIVES. FEDERAL OFFICIALS SAY IN 2017 MORE THAN 3200 FLORIDIANS DIED FROM AN OPIOID OVERDOSE. JESSICA ZEALMAN EASILY COULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THAT STATISTIC. HER STORY OF ADDICTION IS ALL TOO COMMON. I WAS HIT HEAD ON BY A DRUNK DRIVER IN MY EARLY 20s. AND I WAS TAKING PAIN MEDICINE FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS. Reporter: IN RECENT YEARS, PRESCRIPTION OPIOID ABUSE HAS HIT EPIDEMIC LEVELS IN THIS COUNTRY. THE TREMENDOUS COSTS INVOLVED AND THE CITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE PUTTING THEIR FOOT DOWN AND SAY, NO, LET’S PUT THIS TO AN END. Reporter: THE CITY OF SARASOTA IS SUING A NUMBER OF PHARMACEUTICAL GIANTS. THE CITY CLAIMS IN RECENTLY YEARS, THESE COMPANIES USED BIASED MEDICAL STUDIES AND DECEPTION TO SUPPORT THEIR BELIEF THAT OPIOIDS WERE NOT ADDICTIVE. SARASOTA HAS SPENT INCREDIBLE AMOUNTS OF MONEY ON INCREASED LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPENSES, MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT, AND EMERGENCY SERVICES. IF THE CITY WINS THE SUIT, THEY WILL INVEST THE MONEY INTO TREATMENT PROGRAMS. THIS WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE US ALL A FRESH START. Reporter: TODAY ZEALMAN IS HAPPY AND FREE FROM THE BONDS OF ADDICTION. AND WHILE SHE SUPPORTS THE SUIT, SHE FEELS THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES DON’T DESERVE ALL THE BLAME. THERE IS A RESPONSIBILITY ON THE PATIENT TO ASK QUESTIONS. Reporter: OFFICIALS FROM THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES LISTED HAVE NOT RESPONDED TO OUR

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