St. Lawrence County Saw Higher Opiate Prescription Rate Than State
Opiate prescriptions surged across the state in recent years. But in St. Lawrence County, they surged even more.
Opiate prescriptions exploded everywhere in the last decade.
But in St. Lawrence County they are even higher; opiates were prescribed at a rate 60 percent higher than the state average and at a rate three times higher than some places.
Though painkiller prescriptions dropped in every county in 2016, they went up in St. Lawrence.
County lawmakers are suing big pharmacy companies over the opiate crisis. They are saying those companies, not local doctors, are responsible.
“The litigation is geared around the fact that these companies, as we allege, engaged in a process of deceiving the providers so that they prescribed what they thought was an acceptable level at the time,” said Stephen Button, St. Lawrence County attorney.
The surge in legal opiates has fueled overdose deaths, illegal drug use, and crime, says the county's lawsuit. It's one of hundreds filed by counties across the nation.