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Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Bipartisan Coalition to Help Address Opioid Crisis

Friday, June 16, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Nearly 2,000 Californians lost their lives due to the opioid crisis in 2015 alone

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that the state of California along with a bipartisan coalition of Attorneys General from across the country are investigating whether drug manufacturers have engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing and sale of opioids. The Attorneys General are investigating opioid manufacturers’ potential role in creating or prolonging this epidemic. According to the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, in 2015 there were nearly 2,000 opioid overdose deaths, approximately 4,000 emergency department visits for opioid overdoses and nearly 25 million opioid prescriptions. California has the third most deaths related to opioid overdose in the country because of the state’s size.

“The opioid crisis is a serious public health threat that is taking the lives of too many Californians, destroying our communities, ripping apart families, and impacting the work of law enforcement,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “We cannot sit back as this crisis claims more lives everyday. It’s critical that we continue to address this epidemic from all angles."

The coalition of Attorneys General is using its investigative tools, including subpoenas for documents and testimony, to determine the appropriate course of action to address the opioid epidemic. In California and nationwide, opioids—prescription and illicit—are the main driver of drug overdose deaths. Opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths nationwide in 2015, and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999.

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