Taking Alabama Back from Opioids!

Our state’s families and communities are in the grips of a deadly struggle with an exploding drug epidemic. It is a struggle we are losing. To understand why, and begin dealing with this problem, we must properly understand the extent of the problem. Last year in Alabama, more prescriptions for opioids were written per capita than any other state in the country. Opioid addictions are among the most powerful, and unless we properly combat the problem, Alabama will experience what has occurred elsewhere in the country—the opioid crisis will become a heroin epidemic. If Alabama does not act and act decisively, generations of Alabamians stand to become victims.

Alabama families and communities are depending on their Attorney General to stop the suffering, and they deserve a more effective response. The current approach has included studying the issue to conclude that more studying of the issue is necessary and to file a misguided lawsuit.

Alabamians deserve a strong response from their Attorney General, because the Attorney General has the most direct ability to lead the charge against the opioid crisis in court. But, Alabama’s weak lawsuit fails to do so. It was brought against only one drug manufacturer, Purdue Pharmaceuticals. Yet Purdue is only responsible for two percent of the opioid prescriptions written in Alabama. Allowing those responsible for 98% of the problem to escape accountability for the harm they have inflicted, and to remain unbridled, sends the wrong message. The only effective response is to hold those responsible for creating this crisis accountable… not one of them, but all of them. Because the current approach means that those who are poisoning and addicting our children and families continue to get rich and face no accountability for their actions. Further, Alabama’s lawsuit was filed in federal court in Ohio. That should not have happened, Alabama’s case should be heard in an Alabama court by Alabama citizens who can apply Alabama law and render judgment and impose punishments commensurate with the harm done in Alabama.

Solving the opioid problem in Alabama will not be simple, but neither was dealing with the methamphetamine crisis. The leadership I provided as Attorney General led to real common sense responses to the meth problem that led to a decline in meth production, addictions, and deaths in our state. We must be heartened as we wage this war, there are no problems in Alabama that cannot be solved, only problems that have not been solved yet. Implementing a real response to this clear and present danger is the only effective path to take Alabama back from the opioid epidemic that is now threatening our state and killing our children while destroying our communities.

I am committed to using my experience earned waging war on methamphetamines to attack this current crisis. I look forward to the responsibility of Taking Alabama Back from opioids.