MONTGOMERY, Ala. — State Attorney General Steve Marshall (R-Ala.) confirmed that Alabama has joined a bipartisan national coalition of Attorneys General in an ongoing investigation into potential illegal practices of opioid manufacturers. At this stage, state AGs are subpoenaing documents and conducting interviews to determine how to proceed.
Opioids are often prescribed by medical professionals as a painkiller. However, their chemical properties are incredibly addictive, and many people become hooked on the substances.
Over the past several years, the death toll from opioids in the United States has skyrocketed, and medical officials have termed the increase a crisis. Between 2006 and 2015, 5,128 Alabamians died from prescription painkiller overdoses.
According to the most recent data, Alabama outpaced every other state in the number of opioid perceptions written in 2015 with 5.8 million. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the Yellowhammer State’s per capita ratio for opioid prescriptions is 1.2 prescriptions per person, which is higher than the national average of 0.71.
“Alabama has disproportionately suffered from prescription painkiller abuse and I have joined with a majority of my fellow Attorneys General to investigate what role opioid manufacturers may have had in creating or prolonging the opioid abuse epidemic,” Attorney General Marshall said in a statement.