Kanawha commission to fight back against drug wholesalers

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Charleston Gazette-Mail – Kanawha County moved forward Thursday on their fight against drug wholesalers, who they say helped to fuel the area’s opioid epidemic by shipping millions of painkillers to the county.

County Commissioners hired Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel, a Huntington-based law firm, to represent them in a potential lawsuit against the wholesalers. The possible lawsuits would address the economic impact the opioid epidemic has had on the county. The Attorney General’s Office estimated about 66 million prescription pain pills were distributed in Kanawha County between 2007 and 2012.

According to Bert Ketchum, an attorney with Greene Ketchum, county commissions are able to declare issues like the opioid epidemic as public nuisances. Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring that the opioid epidemic is a public nuisance.

Commission President Kent Carper said the county’s jail bill is approximately $4.5 million each year. County officials estimate that more than three-quarters of inmates committed or are accused of drug offenses. Commissioners estimate millions of dollars are spent each year on other costs related to the opioid epidemic.

Read the entire story… Charleston Gazette-Mail

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