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Apache, Navajo Counties Join In Opioid Lawsuits

By Chloe Jones
Published: Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 5:23pm
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Apache County filed a suit last week against big players in the opioid crisis, and it is not alone.

Navajo and Apache counties both filed a suit against drug manufacturers, distributors and individuals citing that their communities, which consist of many economically and medically vulnerable people, were taken advantage of.

Jason Moore, deputy county attorney for Navajo County, explains the burden this crisis has had on his community. 

“You get more cases involving opioids than you would have had before. You also end up with the use of more judicial resources. You end up having to distribute things like Narcan,” Moore said.

Narcan is a drug that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Equipping officers, jails and hospitals with the drug along with an increased court case load contributes to the financial burden Navajo County faces. Pima and Mohave counties, along with the state, also have filed suits against drug manufacturers.

Moore said they are filing to "recover some of the extra expenses that the county has incurred due to the opioid crisis. I think there's, there's a hope that we might be able to get some additional money for drug prevention and treatment programs. ”

Apache County filed its suit in the Apache County Superior Court, and Navajo County filed its suit in federal court. Both seek reimbursement for costs associated with the epidemic, which includes increased spending in law enforcement, courts and health care.