Colorado SpringsHot SheetPublic Safety

El Paso County won’t sue drug companies over opioid epidemic

Author: Rachel Riley, The Gazette - July 3, 2018 - Updated: July 3, 2018

Lift the LabelA wall of 4,200 prescription bottles demonstrates the number of deaths in the United States due to opioids. (Photo by Marianne Goodland/Colorado Politics)

COLORADO SPRINGS — El Paso County won’t join the hundreds of U.S. cities and counties suing major pharmaceutical companies, accusing them of exacerbating a nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse that has claimed lives and cost taxpayers.

Officials decided it’s too difficult to accurately quantify how much more the county has had to pay for social services, law enforcement and other government functions as a result of the crisis.

“The Board (of County Commissioners) believes that only appropriate County involvement would be for the purpose of recovering the direct costs of the opioid epidemic on County services and programs. But after receiving input from various County departments and elected offices, it is clear that determining the direct impacts from prescription opioid abuse on county programs and services would be imprecise at best and speculative at worst,” county spokesman Dave Rose said in a statement.

Rachel Riley, The Gazette

Rachel Riley, The Gazette