LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) –Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released a statewide public service announcement (PSA) addressing the opioid epidemic that continues to devastate Arkansas. Rutledge has been a leader in the State and the nation combating the opioid epidemic by using a multifaceted approach of education, litigation, treatment and enforcement.
“Opioids kill hundreds of Arkansans every year tearing families apart and devastating communities,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “On average there are 62 pills for every man, woman and child in the State. Together let’s educate everyone, enforce the laws and end this epidemic. After all, Arkansas is just one big small town.”
Rutledge has taken an aggressive approach to protect Arkansans and combat the epidemic by suing manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Endo for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act. In April 2019, Rutledge filed a separate lawsuit against distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson Corporation and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation for violations of the ADTPA as well as for negligence, creation of a public nuisance and being unjustly enriched by their business practices.
On the educational front, Rutledge’s first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is free for high schools and has reached 69 counties and almost 17,000 students. On November 14, Attorney General Rutledge will host the eighth annual Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The free event provides training and educational opportunities for law enforcement, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Attendees will hear from former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who is keynoting the luncheon.
The public service announcement can be viewed on various networks and cable stations throughout the State and can be found on Rutledge’s YouTube page.
Arkansans who have questions can email the office at oag@ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.