opioids

TOPEKA, Kansas — More than two dozen cities and counties across Kansas have sued the opioid industry, from a small town with a population of 150 near the Colorado border to the state’s most populous county at its opposite end.

More may still file suits, legal experts say. And those that don’t could get a payout regardless if opioid makers, distributors and vendors opt for a global settlement. That would not only end the massive snarl of lawsuits brought by 2,600 parties nationwide but also prevent tens of thousands of other local governments from taking them to court, too.

This story was updated at 10 a.m. on Sept. 12, 2019, to reflect comments from the Bureau of Prisons.

The federal Bureau of Prisons will provide opioid addiction treatment for a prisoner at the Leavenworth penitentiary, according to a settlement reached Wednesday.

A newly released database shows that Leavenworth County, Kansas, had one of the highest concentrations of opioid pills per person in the United States between 2006 and 2012.

While those numbers might suggest a hidden calamity in eastern Kansas, the vast majority of those pills were actually processed by a Veteran’s Administration fullfillment center, rather than distributed locally, according to the data.

The Regional Forensic Science Center is getting new equipment to help identify opioid drugs that are circulating in south-central Kansas.

Sedgwick County commissioners voted Wednesday to accept a $155,017 federal grant to pay for the machine. The Wichita-based crime lab will use the new device to streamline testing processes and reduce analysis time.

Tim Rohrig, director of the Regional Forensic Science Center, says the equipment will target the opioid abuse problem.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers have rejected proposals to legalize medical cannabis in recent years. With a new governor in office, a bipartisan group of legislators is hoping this year could be different.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Sedgwick County is adding a new full-time position within the Sheriff’s Office to work on the growing problem of jail inmates who have drug or alcohol addictions.

frankieleon / flickr Creative Commons

A prescription drug monitoring program in Kansas will receive a federal grant worth more than $736,000 to expand.

The Kansas Board of Pharmacy oversees K-TRACS, a system for monitoring prescriptions for controlled substances.

Several members of a task force formed by Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer to address the opioid crisis claim his refusal to consider Medicaid expansion undermines their work.

fda.gov

Law enforcement officials in Sedgwick County and across Kansas will collect leftover medications on Saturday.

Since the Drug Take-Back Day program started in 2010, more than 65 tons of medication in Kansas have been collected.

Drop-off sites will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. There are 10 sites in Sedgwick County, including in Maize, Goddard, Haysville, Cheney and Derby.

The event is conducted by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which will collect and dispose of the medications.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Gov. Jeff Colyer is creating a task force to study ways to fight drug abuse in Kansas through prevention and treatment. He signed an executive order Thursday bringing together the heads of 16 state agencies, as well as medical professionals and law enforcement.

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