LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas- The opioid epidemic is sweeping across America and has started to hit close to home.
"I dare say there isn't a family who hasn't been touched in some sort of way by the opioid epidemic," Liberty County Attorney Matthew Poston suggested.
The crisis has gotten so out of control that Liberty County is now mounting a lawsuit against drug manufacturers.
"These manufacturers and distributors have been selling these drugs as if they're safe products," Poston pointed out. "And even when used as they're directing, they're not safe. They're actually very dangerous."
And authorities say Big Pharma is profiting from addiction!
It's a growing problem, commonly started with a simple prescription for pain relievers.
"If you look at the number of folks who are addicted a year out after they've been given a short, 10-day prescription the numbers are astronomical, unacceptable!" Poston said.
Beyond the personal costs involved, officials say the county government faces plenty of costs from addiction, too. "Costs to arrest these individuals, costs to incarcerate them, a number of costs to treat them while they're in custody," Poston said.
And county officials say they are feeling that especially hard here.
"Here in Liberty County, we have recognized that not only are there private costs to these individuals, but there are social costs that are being borne by our government, and we seek to be compensated," Poston insisted.
Officials won't say just how much they are seeking, but they hope to use any funds they might be awarded to beef up local services to help residents who are suffering and help stop the addiction.
As Poston put it, "We would hope that the flagrant, dangerous practice of selling very risky products will stop."
Amen to that!