Rubin, county attorneys take opioid problem to public

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin presented Greater Minnesota’s perspective on the growing crisis of dangerous opioid addiction when he spoke at a news conference in St. Paul on Thursday morning.

The conference was held to announce civil action being taken by Minnesota Counties and County Attorneys against manufacturers and distributors of Opiate-based pain medication.

The St. Louis County Board on Nov. 14 unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the county attorney to commence litigation against pharmaceutical opioid manufacturers and distributors and other parties involved in the opioid epidemic.

County officials say there were 167 overdose deaths in St. Louis County between 2011 and 2016, including heroin, opioids and other prescription pain medications.

The county commissioners and Rubin believe that a lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids will help curtail the use, abuse and illegal diversion of opioid drugs, and the financial recovery could result in increased education, treatment, training and social services, as well as reimbursement of law enforcement response costs.

Rubin said he expects his office to file the lawsuit on behalf of St. Louis County before the end of the year.

County attorneys from Hennepin, Ramsey, Mower and Washington counties also participated in the press conference.

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