The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are joining forces to consider legal action against those they consider to be responsible for the deadly opioid epidemic facing this region. The North Carolina Department of Health says that opioid deaths have increased 73 percent statewide and doubled in New Hanover County over the last decade.
“Wilmington has the highest opioid-related abuse rate in the nation. In the entire nation.”
That’s Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, discussing the latest local strategy in the battle against opioid addiction. City and county leaders announced yesterday they will pursue legal action against anyone who contributed to the opioid epidemic. That means manufacturers and distributors. In September, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein launched an investigation to determine whether drug manufacturers and drug wholesalers unlawfully created or fueled the opioid crisis.
New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White.
“Our neighborhoods are not as safe as they once were. People are dying.” 3:00 “So on Monday, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution to take any and all actions necessary, including retaining legal counsel, against parties who have caused or contributed to the issues created by the opioid crisis.”
“The outside legal counsel being considered will pay all costs associated with any litigation, and the county will not pay any taxpayer dollars toward a lawsuit.”
The city council and county commissioners will take up the resolution at their respective meetings next week.