Opioid Epidemic: Delray's Mayor Talks About Emotional & Financial Cost

 

The Mayor of Delray Beach is speaking out about the city's plans to sue several drug companies over the opioid epidemic. 

Cary Glickstein says doctors were misled about the addictive nature of powerful drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl.  He likens it to the cases against tobacco companies in the 1990's.

"The tobacco industry denied, and then downplayed the addictive qualities of nicotine and we know how that played out in the courts, and you can see a similar page out of that playbook with the pharmaceutical companies."

Mayor Glickstein tells us these drugs were initially meant to help terminally ill patients deal with their pain...

"Now it's prescribed for tooth aches and pain management for the rest of people's lives.  So we've got a generation of zombies that should have never been on this medicine to begin with."

And for that, he blames the manufacturers and distributors. 

The mayor says his city has been hit especially hard.

"In 2016, we had approximately 1,600 911 calls for overdoses and we estimate, calculate that it cost the city approximately $2,500 for each call for first responder personnel, equipment, transport and lifesaving materials."

Glickstein says more than 60 of last year's overdoses were fatal.  

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