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Tuberville cosponsors legislation to combat Alabama’s opioid epidemic

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) on Monday announced that he has cosponsored the NOPAIN Act, which seeks to address the deadly opioid epidemic that has metastasized throughout the nation.

The bipartisan legislation, formally titled the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation Act, aims to address the growing opioid epidemic by promoting non-addictive treatments for those recovering from surgery as an alternative to highly addictive prescription pain medication.

Alabama’s junior senator took to social media to promote the anti-drug abuse bill.

“I’m proud to support the NOPAIN Act, which addresses the rising opioid epidemic by promoting the use of non-addictive treatments for patients recovering from surgery,” the tweet reads. “The opioid crisis has hit folks hard, [and] this bill is a step in the right direction to reducing opioid addiction.”

Opioid abuse hits close to home for many Alabamians as most families know someone close to them who has fallen victim to addiction. Efforts to address the lethal issue have gained momentum over recent months as deaths attributed to overdose have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An increasing amount of families whose loved ones have fallen victim to the opioid crisis are looking to take legal action against parties who they believe to have perpetuated the epidemic. The target of such lawsuits include large pharmaceutical manufacturers and the consultants who advise them on effective marketing strategies, as well as corporate drug distributors. State governments have also sought legal retribution.

In February, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the state was set to receive over $9 million as part of a multi-state settlement surrounding consulting giant McKinsey & Company’s role in the mass promotion of Purdue Pharma’s Oxycontin. The epidemic is seen to have had a disproportionate effect on America’s rural communities, particularly in Alabama.

In 2020, the state’s opioid overdoses increased by 20%, according to the Alabama Department on Mental Health.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL