Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It spans socio-economic lines, race, age and gender. The opioid epidemic’s toll has left a trail of grief, desperation and destruction in urban, suburban and rural communities. If you or someone you know is dealing with opioid addiction, you know what a nightmare it can be.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Four hundred thousand people in the U.S. died from opioid overdose between 1997 and 2017. Almost half of Texas overdose deaths involve opioids.

Treating victims of the opioid crisis

Four leading drug companies are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to settle opioid lawsuits. Community leaders want to provide new tools to fight addictions by expanding the range of treatment options for individuals.

A panel of health-care providers and addiction experts recommends the following use of settlement funds:

  • Harm-reduction efforts like clean needle programs and broader distribution of Naloxone, an emergency drug used to treat overdoses
  • Drug-abuse prevention programs involving counseling by people who have struggled with addiction and outreach programs for children at risk for drug abuse
  • Programs to help patients reduce or quit opioid use
  • Long-term recovery programs to help people find housing and jobs and reconnect with their families and communities

The goal is to mobilize community resources for services that will help individuals, families and communities recover and rebuild from opioid addiction.

What is Texas doing?

Opioid addiction is a national crisis, and Texas has not escaped it. Texas is combating the opioid crisis in the following three ways:

  • State Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against a leading pharmaceutical company, claiming it misrepresented the dangers of one of its opioids
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $24 million in supplemental funding for the Texas State Opioid Response grant program. The funding will expand access to substance-abuse disorder and mental health services
  • The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) collects and monitors controlled substance prescription data. Texas pharmacies must report all dispensed controlled substances to the PMP within one business day of when a prescription was filled

This epidemic is complex. If your life has been turned upside down by opioid addiction, you may be eligible for compensation for your pain, suffering and loss.