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Health

Portland Joins Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers

The Portland City Council voted unanimously Monday to join a nationwide lawsuit against manufacturers of opioids.

Officials say the prescription painkillers have contributed to Portland’s rise in drug overdoses. Portland city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin says the epidemic is placing big financial burdens on social and other services.

“Clearly the opioid epidemic has reached crisis levels here in Portland, and so it takes a toll on the city municipal services, whether it be fire, police, public health. And clearly there needs to be some more money for treatment,” she says.

In 2016, 376 Mainers died of drug overdoses, including 42 in Portland. The city has allocated resources to fight the opioid epidemic, but Grondin says it needs more funds to support people who are fighting addiction.

“So we’re hoping if there was a successful outcome here that we could put this money back into the community to help address the epidemic,” she says.

The city of Portland would be entitled to part of the settlement from the lawsuit.