The president recently declared the opioid crisis a national emergency. The topic has been a matter of discussion among local agencies and was on the agenda of the most recent Greenville City Council meeting. The Bond County Board has joined the conversation.
State’s Attorney Chris Bauer told the board this week about a lawsuit that several Illinois counties have joined to address the impact of the opioid crisis. He said the lawsuit doesn’t ask for money, but seeks equitable relief. The suit claims there is a nuisance created by opioid abuse in the county. If successful, the lawsuit would result in a court order, directing manufacturers and/or wholesalers of those drugs would be contribute money to abatement of the nuisance, or money specified for certain kinds of abatement.
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Bauer said the abatement could include funds for counseling and treatment as well as education for local school children. The state’s attorney said he talked to Sheriff Jeff Brown, whose budget has been particularly impacted by the drug problem. He said the jail population is way up along with medical expenses for the jail. Felony cases are way ahead of what they were this time last year and according to the circuit clerk, those are almost all drug cases.
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The Bond County Board voted unanimously to join the lawsuit by approving a resolution declaring “that the unlawful distribution of prescription controlled substances and created a public nuisance and a serious public health and safety crisis for the citizens of Bond County.”