OPIOID CRISIS: Hundreds of pills distributed in TN Valley
76 billion pain pills were distributed to the United States for over six years.
Two and a half billion of those pain pills were handed out right here in Tennessee.
According to the drug enforcement administration, in Tennessee, Grundy county had the highest number of pain pills distributed per person in a six year span at a rate of 134 pills per person.
In Georgia, the county with the most pills distributed per person is Catoosa county with 58 pills per person each year.
So, who is to blame for the number of pills distributed?
Recently we saw a major move as one company was ordered to pay millions for their role in the opioid crisis
An Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $572 million for pushing doctors to prescribe opioids while downplaying the risks of addiction. Prosecutors say this company's role fueled the opioid epidemic, which led to more than 6,000 deaths over two decades
And it's not just the pharmaceutical companies that are going down in the opioid crisis. Federal lawmakers are also cracking down on the medical professionals who prescribe opioids.
This year the Justice Department charged more than 60 people nationwide for their role in the opioid crisis. It's known as the nation's largest opioid prescription crackdown.
The takedown included 53 medical professionals 32 of those who worked in Tennessee.
The indictment charged Tennessee doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists with either illegally prescribing or dispensing opioids, as well as fraud related to pain management.
After this major move a United States assistant attorney general said, "if so-called medical professionals are going to behave like drug dealers, we're going to treat them like drug dealers."