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Opioid crisis: Alabama Attorney General addresses state issue

In 2017 every five days someone in Madison County died from overdosing on opioids, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Tyler Berryhill.

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 5:35 PM
Updated: Jun 18, 2018 6:38 PM

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is working to fight the growing opioid addiction problem in Alabama.

Monday, he talked with local law enforcement, counselors, and health professionals about how to tackle the problem.

In 2017 every five days someone in Madison County died from overdosing on opioids, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Tyler Berryhill.

Berryhill told us the Coroner's Office is seeing a rise in deaths and a connection to the drug Fentanyl.

"A big problem that we do see locally is Heroin being cut with Fentanyl and it's extremely potent and it's claiming a lot of lives in our area," he said.

Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray explained just how dangerous Fentanyl is to WAAY 31.

"Addicts are always looking for another high that's even higher than the one. Once you go to heroin the only way you can excel above that is to go to animal tranquilizers and they will kill you," McMurray said.

However, Fentanyl is not the only drug being abused in Alabama, and the state is cracking down on drug use by keeping track of what you're getting at the pharmacy.

"We aren't saying opioids are inherently bad. There are people that need opioids for pain management but we simply need to do it responsibly," Marshall said.

The state ranks number one in opioid prescriptions, according to Marshall.

The epidemic Berryhill says is only getting worse, and the solution to fix the addiction problem isn't simple.

"It's going to take multi-facets it's going to be the community, friends, leaders, everyone coming together to combat the problem," he said.

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