Fighting opioids in the court and streets
AG announces big drug bust; Healey and Baker pen op-ed
ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY announced a massive drug bust just a day after co-penning an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with Gov. Charlie Baker about the opioid crisis and her lawsuit against Purdue Pharmaceuticals.
Healey’s office called Thursday’s announcement of drug busts in Methuen and Lawrence the largest drug takedown in the state’s history, with 12 individuals arrested, four guns, $100,000 in cash, and 24 kilos of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine seized. The two-year operation was carried out by the Fentanyl Strike Force, a law enforcement effort put together in 2016 to take on criminal drug operations across the northeast.
“We’re dismantling major drug networks and we’re taking millions of lethal doses of heroin and fentanyl off the street,” Healey said. “Every drug we take off the street is potentially a life saved.”
As law enforcement ups its game on the streets to keep opioids out of users’ hands, Healey is taking to the courtroom in an attempt to hold those who might have started the problem in the first place accountable.
“The company deceived prescribers and patients about its drugs. Purdue sold more than 70 million doses of opioids to Massachusetts patients, generating more than $500 million,” the letter to the editor said.
Those decisions, they said, “caused much of the epidemic,” along with Purdue allegedly targeting specific communities in marketing. This comes a few weeks after Purdue Pharma chairman Steve Miller wrote in the Journal that it was “inaccurate and unfair” to blame and target his company specifically for the opioid crisis, especially in court.“Litigation may satisfy the public’s desire for a scapegoat, but real long-term solutions are needed. The first step should be a constructive global resolution to the opioid litigation that helps suffering people and strained communities,” Miller said.
The families of the 670 people who have died in Massachusetts from opioid overdoses, and those who struggle with relapses mentioned in Baker and Healey’s op-ed, would probably disagree.