DAYTON, OH (WTOL) - The city of Dayton is now suing big drug companies that they believe are responsible for the opioid epidemic.
Mayor Nan Whaley announced that the city will file suits against pharmaceutical companies, distributors and physicians that she thinks have fueled the heroin problem in Ohio.
"The heroin epidemic was no accident," Mayor Whaley said. "These big drug companies have destroyed too many lives, broken too many families and done so much damage to our communities. People are hooked on drugs and there are enormous challenges for communities like Dayton. Ever since this crisis was created, our community has been forced to focus our time, attention and your tax dollars on addressing the heroin epidemic.
Dayton fire, police and EMS have responded to more than 1,8000 calls of suspected overdoses so far in 2017.
In just five months, Dayton has used more than double the amount of Narcan used in 2016.
The city said the opioid epidemic started with legally prescribed medications, which led to heroin and fentanyl problems.
"This is about justice for our communities. Justice for our taxpayers. Justice for the families who have lost a loved one. And justice for the people and families who are struggling with addiction right now," Whaley said.
Dayton is seeking recovery of cost to the community, including increases in law enforcement, education and community programs, and drug support programs to respond to the opioid epidemic.
The city of Lorain is also planning to follow similar lawsuits.