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Friday, May 5, 2017

Cherokee Nation Sues for Opioid Damages

With most tragedies that befall people, reparations are often sought and in some cases granted. Not that any amount of money can bring back a loved one, but it certainly does not hurt. After major wars, reparations are often gone after from the aggressors or conflict instigators. Such paybacks usually require a tooth and nail fight and even then, what ends up being paid is rarely enough—a veritable drop in the bucket. The Jews of Europe in the 1930’s and `40s and their adult children are still working to reclaim lost family possessions and have financial compensation for the damage done.

The Holocaust may have been a singular atrocity, but there have been many such instances across the sands of time. Going back to the time of the Tsar’s and beyond. In our own country, one whose brief history has been fortunate to escape the scars of modern warfare, we have a past that is not short of atrocious deeds. Notably the 100’s of years of slavery and subsequent segregation in the South, the massacre of Native Americans peoples and resettlement to reservations, and Japanese internment during World War II.

America, to be sure, is not beyond reproach. Our history is far from pretty, and the aforementioned American people are still fighting for reparations. Which brings into question where else people have been targeted, exploited and lost their life from things other than chains and bullets.


A Debt Owed From Opioid Profits

Now a couple decades after the American opioid addiction epidemic began, it is becoming abundantly clear that people across the country were lied to about the dangers of opioid painkillers. Narcotics which have stolen lives from multiple generation, from practically every demographic. From Big Pharma to chain pharmacies, and everything in between, i.e. drug wholesalers, doctors, and prescribing nurses.

In many cases, the writing was on the wall long ago that the drugs being manufactured, distributed, prescribed and filled at pharmacies were being rampantly abused. With only a minuscule of interdiction until late, and even that is far from enough. Which is one of the reasons why states have been filing class action suits against all perceived guilty parties who, evidence suggests, knowingly had a role in patient addiction and overdose deaths.

One of the more recent suits came from a proud people who are no stranger to malfeasance and death disguised as gifts, the Cherokee Nation. A suit was filed against CVS Health, Walgreens, et. al., the claimant alleges that not enough was done to prevent opioid painkillers from ravaging the tribal community, PBS NewsHour reports. They claim that the defendants did not adequately monitor opioid prescriptions and orders. Had they done so, red flags would have been raised and federal officials could have interdicted. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports that an estimated 845 million milligrams of opioids, between 360 and 720 pills per year for every prescription opioid user, were distributed across the Cherokee Nation.

“As we fight this epidemic in our hospitals, our schools, and our Cherokee homes, we will also use our legal system to make sure the companies, who put profits over people while our society is crippled by this epidemic, are held responsible for their actions,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a statement.


Opioid Addiction Treatment

Sadly, the Cherokee Nation is not the only tribal people to be greatly affected by the epidemic. At Whiteside Manor, we have treated native peoples from the Southwest and beyond who have been touched by opioid addiction. Our team of professional substance abuse counselors have been trained in Native American philosophies and practices, and we receive referrals from Traditional Reservation Behavioral / Mental Health departments and we work closely with the Native American Recovery Community.

If you or a loved one is battling prescription opioid or heroin addiction, please contact us today.

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