Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Olmsted County Board has decided to join other counties around the state and country in a federal lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors of opioid medications.

The counties are seeking damages for costs associated with responding to what is being called the opioid crisis in recent years that has resulted in addiction-related problems and fatal overdoses.

Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem says, “We have struggled with the aftermath of the flood of opioids into the community. It’s time to sue the people that gave us the problem to begin with. “

Ostrem says the lawsuit is not targeting doctors or pharmacists.  He says the lawsuit accuses manufacturers of using deceptive marketing tactics to convince physicians that opioids are not addictive.

Ostrem says the county has faced growing costs to provide medical treatment to people who are affected by the drugs. First responders have also seen their costs go up.

Ostrem says there were 153 opioid-related deaths in Minnesota last year, compared to 97 the year before.

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