Tyrrell commissioners authorize lawsuit against prescription opiate distributors

Published 8:02 pm Monday, June 25, 2018

The Tyrrell County Board of Commissioners recently declared opiod abuse a public nuisance, which must be abated, and they authorized the county attorney to join with others in filing a lawsuit against the chain of distribution of prescription opiates responsible for the public nuisance.

The board’s resolution states that the county “has expended, is expending, and will continue to expend in the future county funds to respond to the serious public health and safety crisis involving opioid abuse, addiction, morbidity, and mortality within Tyrrell County.”

The commissioners state that they “have received information that indicates that the manufacturers and wholesale distributors of controlled substances have distributed in Tyrrell County, and surrounding areas, and may have violated Federal and/or State laws and regulations that were enacted to prevent the diversion of legally produced controlled substances into the illicit market.”

On motion by Commissioner Nina Griswell and carried unanimously, the board adopted the public nuisance declaration resolution.

Then Vice Chairman Carl Willis moved that the board authorize the county, acting through David Clegg, county manager-attorney, Ward and Smith PA of Greenville and McHugh Fuller Law Group LLC to file suit on behalf of Tyrrell County against the chain of distribution of prescription opiates responsible for the public nuisance.” Willis’ motion passed unanimously.

Three weeks later Julie Tisdale, a foster parent in the Raleigh area and analyst for the NC Family Policy Council, wrote about the devastating impact that opioid abuse has on the children of users.

North Carolina has nearly 10,000 minors in foster care, she stated, with the most common reason being neglect, and the number two reason is parental drug abuse.

More and more children coming into foster care because of parental drug use coincides with the alarming increase in opioid abuse.

“North Carolina families, churches, and community organizations —- anyone who cares about kids —- need to be concerned about the opioid epidemic,” Tisdale wrote. “It’s having a devastating impact on children. And taxpayers should care because the foster system is expensive.”

Last year North Carolina spent close to $630 million on foster care, she stated.