NEW BRITAIN – The city is joining dozens of other governmental entities in suing pharmaceutical manufacturers which, city leaders said, overplayed the benefits of opioid use and underplayed the possibility of addiction.
The city had the second highest rate of overdose deaths in the state from Jan. 1 to June 30, according to figures provided by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Mayor Erin Stewart said she is hoping to recoup some of the city’s costs associated with dealing with the opioid epidemic.
“Over the last several years, opiates have had a devastating impact on the lives of individuals, their families, and other loved ones right here in our community,” Stewart said. “These drugs have been abused beyond their original intended use and their misuse has turned into an epidemic affecting all walks of life.”
According to the State’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, a staggering 917 people in Connecticut died from drug overdoses in 2016-a 25 percent jump from 2015, Stewart's office said. With 35 deaths in 2016, New Britain ranked fifth in the state for opioid-related deaths, the medical examiner said.