NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee’s attorney general thinks 2020 will be a “significant” year in fighting the opioid epidemic.
During state budget hearings earlier this month before the House, Attorney General Herbert Slatery outlined the lawsuits Tennessee has joined along with other states against the opioid industry.
“We think the companies need to be held responsible,” said the attorney general afterward.
Slatery went over the numbers that continue to indicate the state is “at ground zero–particularly in the Appalachian area — of the opioid epidemic.
He said 12-million prescriptions for opioids filled in just two years and there were 1,837 opioid overdoses for Tennessee in 2018.
The attorney general says some more money from the state budget would help the opioid legal fight.
“We are asking for an additional 3.5 million dollars,” Slatery told lawmakers.
The attorney general said Tennessee is part of three lawsuits against the opioid industry “with more being prepared.”
While Slatery says the opioid industry is responsible for the opioid epidemic, he hopes settlements or a jury verdict will help pay to ease the problem.
“I think the only way to really help people is get funds and use those to solve the problem,” said Slatery. “People want help and they need it now.”
The attorney general added that he thinks there will be “significant movement in 2020” on the opioid lawsuits because several trials are scheduled in the coming year.