Bay County Executive Joins Prescription Drug Fight

Posted by Denyse Shannon on
Image representing over-prescription of pain medications
Creative Commons

The opioid epidemic is creating casualties throughout the nation, but recently Bay County agreed to join a lawsuit hoped to slow the cost of it. County Executive Jim Barcia says the County Commission agreed to join the class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies to try to recoup some emergency management costs. Barcia, who was recently appointed to a statewide opioid task force, says a personal experience after a visit to the county jail led him to decide something needed to be done.

Barcia says he was walking through the jail with the sheriff when he met a man just about to be released after a 94 day sentence. He says, “He was bright eyed and he was pleasant, optimistic. I'd never met him before, but his family was from Hampton Township; so the sheriff and I said well, ‘wish you luck, and hopefully learn from your experience.’” Barcia continued, “Less than 24 hours later he was found out on Two Mile Road.” He says the man left behind his family, including three children, and the experience left Barcia knowing the county needed to take a leadership role in combatting the issue.

Barcia says Bay County has the highest number of opioid prescriptions written per capita in the state, resulting in 3 to four overdoses and 1 to 2 deaths per week. He says participating in the lawsuit will potentially recover expenses on behalf of the taxpayers and regulate the number of opioid prescriptions being handed out. Barcia says he doesn’t want people who need pain medications to lose access, but wants to see more care taken in prescribing them. He says doctors receive incentives from the pharmaceutical industry leading to the overprescribing. Barcia says “the scourge of opioid addiction is a national issue,” and for a number of people leads to heroin addiction, arrests and death. He says there is no direct cost associated with joining the lawsuit.

Share This Page

Local Videos

4/10/18 - Where Are We Now?
The Follow Up

4/10/18 - Where Are We Now?

We look back on stories from the past season with Dawn Hinton and Lee Trepanier.

After Show - 4/13/18 with Dawn Hinton and Lee Trepanier
The Follow Up

After Show - 4/13/18 with Dawn Hinton and Lee Trepanier

We compare reactions to the #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, and March for Our Lives.

4/3/18 - Facebook Fallout; Opioid Update
The Follow Up

4/3/18 - Facebook Fallout; Opioid Update

Protecting our privacy on social media; an update on the opioid crisis.

3/27/18 - Human Trafficking
The Follow Up

3/27/18 - Human Trafficking

How can we prevent human trafficking and aid victims of this crime?

More Videos

Local Podcasts

Backyard Astronomer

4/16/18 - The Crescent Moon and the Lyrid Meteor Shower

The waxing crescent moon passes by several notable objects in the night sky this week. Plus, the Lyrid meteor shower reaches its peak this weekend.

Studio Q

A Session with Lavel Jackson

A conversation with musician, vocalist, and songwriter Lavel Jackson. Plus an inside look at his new album 'Going Home' with Lavel and producer Andy Reed.

Environment Report

4/6/18 - Green Schools; Bottled Water

Seven schools in Bay County have qualified as official Michigan green schools. An environmental group is encouraging people to "get off the bottle."

Movie House

Zero to Sixty Student Film Contest

We speak to Jeff Vande Zande about Delta College's Zero to Sixty student film contest.

More Podcasts

Protect My Public Media

Delta Broadcasting App - Now on iOS and Android

Q-TV Passport. A new member benefit. Extended access to over 1,000 hours of video.