FDL County Executive Had His Own Personal Struggle With Opioids

Fond du Lac County is among 28 counties across Wisconsin that filed lawsuits in Federal Court Tuesday against five pharmaceutical companies and their affiliates. The lawsuits allege that the pharmaceutical companies marketed a variety of opioid painkillers knowing that they were addictive, subject to abuse and not safe for long term use. During a press conference in West Bend Tuesday Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel related how surgery and a subsequent prescription nearly made him a victim of opioid abuse. He had surgery to fuse his neck in 2014 and was given a prescription with a 30 day supply of opioids. The prescription was for up to four a day and he took two. After two weeks he decided to go cold turkey. But he found going cold turkey uncomfortable and nearly life-threatening. He became profoundly depressed and became concerned that he might actually consider ending his life. He says he knew what was causing those feelings. The counties are trying to recoup some of their costs for the services they provide to the victims of opioid abuse and their families.