Being addicted to painkillers, or opioids, is a serious health issue in Houston and nationwide.
In October, President Donald Trump even declared the opioid crisis a “national public health emergency, under federal law.” It’s the first presidential administration to do so.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid prescribing has fueled the epidemic. It said nearly half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription. And a recent government report said the U.S. economy lost over $500 billion from opioid abuse in 2015.
But who, if anyone, should help pay for the losses?
Harris County said the drug companies should pay, just like tobacco companies were made to pay for smoking-related health care and prevention.