Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III on Thursday announced Tennessee is one state leading a bipartisan coalition of a majority of attorneys general from across the country as part of an effort to combat the opioid epidemic.
The attorneys general are conducting comprehensive investigations into the widespread prescribing and use of opioids, as well as the role parties involved in the manufacture and distribution of opioids may have played in creating or prolonging this problem.
A focus of the ongoing investigation is to evaluate whether manufacturers have engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing and sale of opioids.
He said the attorneys general are committed to using the vast investigative resources available, including subpoenas for documents and testimony, to identify and hold accountable those parties responsible for the opioid epidemic.
“There is not a single community in Tennessee, or a region of the country for that matter, that has not witnessed the devastating impact of opioid abuse,” General Slatery said. “At the appropriate time, you can be assured Tennessee will take decisive action against those parties responsible for harming so many families.”
Nationwide and in Tennessee, opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths in 2015 including 1,451 in Tennessee, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.
The coalition of attorneys general is not identifying any targets of its ongoing investigation at this time.