There’s no doubt about it – the opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on our country. Opioids are the number one cause of pregnancy-associated death of women in Texas, and the White House has declared the opioid crisis an official national emergency. While this crisis is evident in Texas, the state is fighting back. See what the Texas Attorney General is doing to get opioids out of your community.
Understanding the Opioid Epidemic
Opioids are powerful addictive drugs derived from opium and they include heroin, oxycodone, valium, and fentanyl. To put into perspective how dangerous these drugs are, 116 people per day were killed in 2016 from abusing opiates. Also alarming is that 40% of opiate overdose deaths involve a prescription. It’s this connection between the doctor prescription and severe addiction that makes opioid abuse such a controversial epidemic.
Opioid Abuse in Texas – A Growing Problem
Texas has become the 7th most impacted state when it comes to the opioid crisis. Expenses related to opioid abuse have cost the state of Texas $20 Billion annually and the rate of deaths from opioid abuse has risen by 4% as of 2016. Clearly, the opioid problem is one that must be addressed soon before it takes a greater toll on the state.
What The Attorney General is Doing to Fight the Opioid Crisis
One man who’s in position to make an impact on the big-pharma crisis is Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton. This week, Paxton filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, a company who produces drugs like Oxycontin. The reasons included violating laws against deceptive trade practices and misrepresenting the risk of addiction when prescribing the drugs. This lawsuit could deal a major blow against one of the nation’s biggest distributors of opioids.
What Else is Being Done to Fight Opioids in Texas?
The fight against opioids in Texas doesn’t end with the Attorney General’s lawsuit. Texas is one of the very few states to establish a 9-Agency Task Force aimed at preventing the spreading of Mexican heroin in the area. This effort allows the police forces of Texas to respond to gang activity in a quick and effective manner, with the ultimate goal of getting opioids off the streets.
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