Originally published by Michigan Radio.
The prescription opioid drug addiction problem not only takes its toll on individuals and families. It also costs local governments in many different ways — from emergency medical services to more police work.
Some municipalities are signing on to a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of the prescription painkillers.
One of the attorneys filing that lawsuit is Mark Bernstein.
He says the societal and economic burdens of the opioid crisis are huge, and that much of the financial costs have been paid by taxpayer money.
“The costs are estimated by the National Council of Economic Advisors in a brief filed with the court in this litigation as being about $504 billion — 2.7% of the GDP of this country. Twenty-five percent of those costs are estimated to fall on the public sector, primarily municipalities, counties, and cities, and in some instances, states involving Medicaid expenses.”