Morrisey: Consider problem, not population in opioid settlements

Published: Nov. 1, 2019 at 4:43 PM EDT
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The reaction by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to recent settlements with opioid makers and distributors has been one of caution.

The reason, he says, is the trend toward financial awards in those settlements being divided according to states' populations.

Morrisey notes while West Virginia has a smaller population than some of the state who have settled with drug manufacturers, the severity of its problem is greater.

"One of the advantages of our settlement in West Virginia," he says, "is that we have preserved the right of the counties and municipalities to fight. The claims don't affect them that we've had. That gives them a chance to go forward, and that's positive."

Morrisey, meantime, says he is keeping a watch on the populations of local treatment centers.

While he says those facilities are important to resolving the drug crisis, law enforcement agencies need to be involved to ensure people who leave the centers are not a menace to local residents.