Oklahoma opioid settlement reveals costs to cities, counties

As the nation’s opioid crisis has devastated thousands of families, it also has taken a crippling financial toll on cities, small towns and counties around the country.

Packed jails, increased ambulance runs and overworked coroners, sheriff’s deputies and public defenders are just some of the consequences of the massive epidemic that has forced localities to divert millions of dollars to overdose-related emergencies and addiction treatments.

That cost was acknowledged this week in a settlement between OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the state of Oklahoma, a settlement that included $12.5 million for local governments.

But local government officials around the country say the amount in the Oklahoma settlement is just a fraction of what they need.

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