The numbers speak for themselves.
Figures illustrating the collective toll of the opioid addiction epidemic in Greene and surrounding counties in the 3rd Judicial District are among those included in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by three District Attorneys General representing Northeast Tennessee counties.
Named as defendants are major pharmaceutical manufacturer Purdue Pharma L.P., related companies and other defendants. Plaintiffs said that the lawsuit was filed in response to the regional epidemic of addiction to prescription painkillers and the destructive ripple effects it has on all levels of society.
Dan Armstrong is district attorney general of the 3rd Judicial District, which includes Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins and Hancock counties. His involvement in the lawsuit is on behalf of residents of those counties.
“It’s a real issue that’s devastating our communities and it’s time these (defendants) pay the cost,” Armstrong said this week after the civil action was filed in Sullivan County Circuit Court in Kingsport.
The 87-page complaint alleges “false and misleading practices” on the part of companies like Purdue Pharma in marketing drugs like OxyContin and representing them as not highly addictive. Included is an outline of their impact in places like Greene and surrounding counties.
The civil action seeks unspecified damages in response to the regional epidemic of addiction to prescription painkillers. A fourth plaintiff is “Baby Doe,” who was born addicted to drugs in 2015 and representative of another major growing health challenge in Northeast Tennessee, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City recently opened a ward specifically created to treat infants born with NAS.
Also listed as defendants are the Sullivan County-based Center Pointe Medical Clinic LLC, and two convicted…