MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The opioid epidemic was declared a national health emergency in 2017. Lauderdale County is among at least six other counties and one other healthcare provider in Mississippi that have filed lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, opioid distributors and pharmacies.
The Meridian City Council voted 'yes' to remain in the lawsuit, which seeks damages from increased costs of healthcare and how opioid abuse affects the community.
Mayor Percy Bland says the city is taking steps forward in assuring the epidemic won’t be a continued issue in Meridian.
“Were still moving forward with our portion of it. We still haven’t received anything final on it though yet. So I know our city attorney is supposed to go somewhere to get some more information pretty soon,” says Bland.
Numbers obtained by The Washington Post show Mississippi is the fourth highest prescriber of opioids in the country.
One Meridian pharmacy dispensed more than 10 million pills over six years, an average of roughly 5,300 pills per day.