County commissioners join movement to put an end to the opioid epidemic

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - We first told you in November about Panama City Commissioners filing lawsuits against manufacturers of prescription opioids to reduce the amount of dangerous drugs in Northwest Florida.

On Tuesday, Bay County Commissioners decided to get behind that movement.

This, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data stating Bay County and Washington County rank among the highest in the state when it comes to prescribing opioid drugs.

Now, both city and county commissioners are meeting with attorneys to file lawsuits against the largest manufacturers.

It's all in an effort, to not only reduce the amount drugs in our area, but also to save some taxpayer dollars.

"We've got outside agencies that are providing drug treatment, we've got our first responders, our deputies, they're having to have Narcan and so there's all kinds of excess funding that no one was prepared for, that we're trying to deal with this crisis," Bay County Commissioner Robert Carroll said.

Commissioners say they'll be teaming up with a group of trial attorneys from dozens of national firms to create a big team effort.

Sheriff Tommy Ford and Representative Jay Trumbull will be hosting an opiod epidemic discussion on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Florida State University Panama City campus in the Bland Conference Center.