Opioid crisis both a personal and professional issue for AG Steve Marshall

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama has joined many states around the county in filing lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies as a result of the opioid crisis.

Attorney General Steve Marshall sits on Gov. Kay Ivey’s Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council. He comes to the council not only from a law enforcement perspective, but as someone who knows firsthand about the deadly opioid epidemic.

“It’s a public health problem and it’s a mental health problem,” Marshall said. “And it’s frankly pretty complicated.”

That’s how Marshall describes the opioid problem when he goes around Alabama speaking on the issue. In the midst of a contentious campaign for his office last year, Marshall dealt with the unimaginable.

“My wife, Bridgette, through the course of medical conditions, was prescribed opioids,” he said.

On June 24, 2018, Bridgette Marshall committed suicide.

“All of that for me makes this not only professional but also personal,” he said.

Marshall is representing the state in a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers and distributors over their actions in Alabama.

“We look forward to being able to represent Alabama’s claims to be able to recover and to abate the problem caused by the defendants in Alabama,” he said.

Marshall said one of the solutions his office looking at is making sure law enforcement is equipped with Naloxone.

“Opioids have created a unique situation, we have a greater use by law enforcement to be able to restore lives immediately,” he said.

The state’s trial against opioid manufacturers will take place next summer, although there is a chance that Purdue Pharma will settle before that happens.


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