Laxalt Investigating Opioid Manufacturers - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Laxalt Investigating Opioid Manufacturers

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Nevada's attorney general announced Thursday that he has launched an investigation into drug manufacturers, due to the ongoing opioid crisis.

Adam Laxalt said he's looking into whether the manufacturers misled doctors and patients about how addictive opioid painkillers can be.

"It's something I think is important to look into for the protection and health and safety of our citizens," Laxalt said.

Opioids are the leading cause of overdose deaths in the country, and Nevada has one of the highest rates in the nation for opioid use, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. The Silver State is in the top six for the percentage of prescriptions for painkillers like codeine and fentanyl. They're highly addictive, so often, when the prescription runs out people turn to street drugs like heroin instead.

"It's unimaginable for most folks that don't use drugs to think that someone would just go casually buy heroin," Laxalt said, "but that is the natural chain that you see."

Nevada is leading a group of state attorneys general, all looking into the source of the opioid crisis. While the investigation is likely to take some time, since there are so many manufacturers, Nevada is already putting measures in place to curb the issue.

The legislature passed a bill this session that will allow the state to track overdoses and maintain a prescription drug monitoring program. Governor Sandoval signed the bill into law in late May.

"The more information that law enforcement has available as well as health and human services, as we treat this as a public health crisis, the better I think we are going to have a chance of fighting it," Laxalt said.

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