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Putnam County joins lawsuits against opioid pain med companies

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has signed a resolution allowing the government to join various states and counties across the country in filing lawsuits against both pharmaceutical companies and distributors.  She says the companies have created a nationwide opioid epidemic through the fraudulent and negligent marketing and distribution of opioid pain medications. 


The goal is to fully compensate Putnam County for unnecessary cost incurred because of prescription opioid abuse.  Odell says individuals and families aren't the only ones impacted, noting that taxpayers are impacted by public health, law enforcement, court and social services resources used in response. 


The founder of "Drug Crisis in Our Backyard" and other community leaders were on hand for the signing Monday.  The resolution was passed by the Putnam County Legislature last month, 8-0, with one legislator absent.  


Heroin and opiates are now the leading cause of accidental death in New York State, outnumbering homicides. In the past three years, over 40 fatal opioid overdoses were reported in Putnam County.  The number of drug-related arrests have gone up also from 339 in 2016 to so far 456 in 2017, according to the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office.

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Dave Rinelli

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