In a statement Wednesday evening, New York Attorney General Letitia James accused manufacturers and distributors of opioids of causing a record deadly drug overdose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
James said that this is a serious problem in both New York and the United States.
Attorney General James said: “We are in the throes of double crises. Both crises have destroyed our communities and claimed too many lives.” “When we recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we must not forget to reflect on the impact of drug overdose on our state and our country.”
“Due to drug overdose, the United States lost a record 93,000 lives last year. The vast majority of this tragic loss was caused by different opioid manufacturers and distributors. This epidemic has devastated New York and the United States. Communities in other areas,” James continued.
Attorney General James finally vowed to provide New Yorkers with additional resources in this crisis.
“These new figures are a painful sign that urgent and specific action is needed. That’s why I have been and will continue to strive to provide every dollar to local communities as quickly as possible to fund opioid reduction efforts. We have secured hundreds of millions of dollars to New York for prevention, treatment, and recovery programs, but since this crisis is far from over, more funds are needed,” Attorney General James concluded.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 93,000 people will die from drug overdose during COVID-19 in 2020.CDC), a record high.
In May 2014, lawsuits were filed against opioid manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Endo, Teva and Allergan. These companies and others are accused of using dishonest marketing strategies to promote sales, which ultimately led to a surge in opioid use and addiction.
Especially in New York City, due to the opioid crisis in June 2021, Johnson & Johnson promised to provide $230 million to New York State. This is the largest monetary settlement ever, with Attorney General James at the helm.
“The opioid epidemic has caused severe damage to countless communities in New York State and other parts of the country, leaving millions of people still addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids,” James said at the time.. “Johnson & Johnson contributed to this fire, but today they promised to withdraw from the opioid business-not only in New York, but throughout the country. Johnson & Johnson will no longer manufacture or sell opioids in the United States.”
“Although no amount of money can make up for thousands of deaths or addiction to opioids across the state, or to provide comfort to countless families torn apart by this crisis, these funds will be used to prevent any future destruction.”
Currently, as the delta variant continues to spread, there are many states with an increase in COVID-19 cases. CDC also reported that the 7-day average of new infections has exceeded 21,000, which is the highest record since May last year.