Our country is in the clutches of a burgeoning opioid epidemic, and Allegheny County’s opioid crisis is exceptionally dire. Overdose deaths in Allegheny County are significantly higher than the national rate. In 2015, when the national overdose death rate was 17.1 per every 100,000 people in the U.S., drug overdoses killed 33.6 of every 100,000 people in Allegheny County. This amounts to overdose deaths from Allegheny County’s opioid crisis at nearly twice the national average. Additional statistics reveal the severity of Allegheny County’s problem:
- 1,399 out of 1,962 Allegheny County overdose deaths between 2008 and 2014—a full 71.3 percent—were due to opioids. Allegheny County residents comprised 1,355 of these overdoses.
- Forty-three percent (43%) of the 1,399 individuals filled an opioid prescription within 90 days of death, and 66% filled an opioid prescription within 30 days of death. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of these had the prescribed opioid in their system at the time of death.
- While prescription opioids were involved in most of the overdose deaths between 2008 and 2011, heroin-related deaths became more prevalent after 2011.
- The presence of fentanyl in Allegheny County opioid deaths increased substantially in 2014 and again in 2015. Overdoses during this time period often involved more than one opioid or controlled substance.
The personal, societal, and economic impact from Allegheny County’s opioid crisis is staggering. The responsibility for the national opioid epidemic—and Allegheny County’s disproportionate share in this devastating crisis—lies with prescription opioid producers and marketers. Manufacturers of prescription opioids have aggressively marketed and lavishly supplied prescription opioids, enabling and encouraging rampant national and local opioid addiction and abuse. Opioid epidemic litigation against prescription manufacturers and marketers may provide Allegheny County (and counties around the country) with:
- compensation for excessive costs incurred as a result of Allegheny County’s opioid crisis
- injunctive relief preventing prescription opioid manufacturers and marketers from continuing illicit marketing practices causal of opioid addiction and abuse.
Feldman & Pinto: Allegheny County Opioid Litigation Lawyers
Feldman & Pinto offers representation to individuals who have suffered personal injuries as a result of opioid addiction. The firm also offers opioid epidemic representation to Allegheny County, other Pennsylvania governmental entities, Pennsylvania hospitals, Pennsylvania labor unions, and Pennsylvania insurance companies that have incurred excess costs due to the opioid epidemic.
Contact Feldman & Pinto.