Ten South Carolina counties are suing drug companies and medical distributors as the opioid overdose crisis continues to worsen across the state.
According to the Charleston Post and Courier, the counties have said the crisis is costing them millions of dollars for health care, plus police and ambulance response to overdoses.
So far, seven counties Jasper, Hampton, Beaufort, Allendale, Williamsburg, Spartanburg and Colleton have filed suit in state court. Horry, Dillon and Marion counties are suing in federal court. Horry County recorded the greatest number of deaths in the state in 2016, with 101 fatalities. The county council there approved the lawsuit Tuesday.
Gov. Henry McMaster and President Donald Trump have declared a public health emergency over the crisis of opioid painkiller addiction and overdose.
According to the latest information from the Department of Health and Environmental Control, there were 616 opioid-related deaths in South Carolina during 2016.