On Monday, county commissioners had planned to hear a presentation from the Eglet-Prince Law firm concerning Lincoln County’s possible participation in a lawsuit on opioid manufacturing companies. However, at the request of the law firm, the presentation before the board has now been postponed until April.

As reported last month in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, dozens of cities and counties in states around the nation are attempting to recover resources they have spent dealing with the problems resulting from addictions to opioid prescriptions.

The United States has had the largest drug addiction problem in its history, while drug companies have made billions of dollars in sales.

The article further notes, “Today, two million Americans are addicted to prescription opioids.”

And, “Of Americans now addicted to heroin, 80 percent started with an addiction to prescription opioids.”

Heroin has the same chemical composition as prescription opioids, which are much less expensive. Eventually, the person upgrades to heroin.

Lincoln County District Attorney Daniel Hooge said he was aware of some companies being sued over deceptive marketing practices with promotional materials claiming a given opioid was not addictive, when in fact it was.

“At first,” Hooge said, “this was a criminal matter, but now it has steamrolled into a civil matter with the Federal Drug Administration wanting to stop the ongoing abuses of deceptive marketing. Some drugs are just being overprescribed. Those who need it should have the prescription, but many are being given a prescription when they should not have it.”

He noted he has had cases where some people have gone to doctors out of county, out of state, or on the black market, just to get the opioids before the local doctors can check their medical history and see if the person is being given more than should be. “If people become addicted for whatever reason, then they may also start doctor shopping and just go crazy with it,” he said.

Eglet-Prince is also representing Clark County in the lawsuit.

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