Freeborn County Joins Opioid Litigation

January 10, 2018 07:39 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- For many, they’ve become a “drug of choice," but another county in our area is fighting back.

"You have serious medical events that people need pain management for,” Freeborn County Administrator Tom Jensen said.


“As everybody knows opioids are very effective at that."

Opioids are also considered highly addictive.

"Certainly it's as addictive or more addictive as methamphetamine," Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi said.

And now, Freeborn County has joined a growing number of counties around the state and the country to pursue legal action related to the opioid crisis.

"It's identified as the big pharmaceuticals that didn't have the correct disclaimer on the addictiveness of the drugs they were manufacturing," Freeborn County Administrator Tim Jensen said.

“Nobody forces them to take it, certainly it is a drug of choice," Mower County’s Terese Amazi said. "And then when they are no longer prescribed they're looking for other things that given them that same type of high."

Olmsted and Mower County have already agreed to join the legal action, and if you want a snapshot of just how often opioids are prescribed, just look in the Mower county drug drop-box.

"When we first opened this and we had the company come they were absolutely amazed at how much opioids we had," Sheriff Terese Amazi said.

The counties are seeking compensation for the financial strain the opioid crisis is having on them, and since the law firms are handling the suits on a contingency basis, there's no out-of-pocket cost to the counties.

"There may be some in-kind services like staff time, document preparation information in regards to the number of people we're seeing affected by or addicted to opioids," Freeborn County Administrator Tom Jensen said.

“Because you have a back surgery or you have some type of surgery and then to get off of that drug causes body withdrawals," added Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi.


Dan Conradt

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