I always try to focus on issues we face in Michigan and the United States by drilling down to the core question.

Many people, pundits and politicians attempt to blame companies for the problems they face.  In this case it is the very serious and real problem of opioid addiction.  The question we must ask ourselves is who is to blame for this epidemic of opioid addiction: the Pharmaceutical companies, the doctors who prescribe the drugs or the people who abuse them.

Well according to an article in the MLive new site the city of Flint believes the problem and blame should be attributed to the pharmaceutical companies.  The mayor of Flint Karen Weaver stated at a news conference yesterday that:

We’re done. Enough is enough. We’re taking back the city

The city’s 111-page complaint against 21 drug companies is claiming these pharma companies used false, deceptive and unfair marketing to promote their drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone in order to boost profits while looking:

the other way -- or worse -- as the (opioid) epidemic unfolded

The question that must be answered first is are companies that produce a useful product when used appropriately ultimately responsible for people who use their products inappropriately?

In this case why is it the pharma companies’ fault that people abuse their legal product?  If someone wants to go down the path of blaming something or someone and refuse to blame the person abusing the product why are they not blaming the doctors who prescribe the legal product?

The only way people can get their hands legally on opioids is if a medical doctor prescribes the drugs.  What does the pharma companies have to do with this issue?  They say that the pharma companies used false and deceptive marketing to sell their product.  Do not doctors go to school for many years to learn about the body and how the drugs they prescribe ultimately affect the human body.

Without the doctors the people who abuse the legal product would not have access to the product.

You might say that the doctors where fooled by the pharm companies, really the warnings about opioids and their abuse by people have been around for many years.

I find it interesting that the city of Flint wants to use any money awarded them to help pay for the cost of addiction in their city, in fact it is stated that they will pay their law firms a percentage of any judgement or settlement it receives.  Tricia P. Hoffler of the Hoffler Firm representing the city in this case stated Flint would pay them “the lion’s share” of any award or settlement depending on court rulings and the cost of litigation.

Well Mayor if you are going to pay the law firm representing the city the “lion’s share” of any judgement or settlement what is left for the cost of addressing the problem in your city?

Again the question that must first be answered is: are companies that produce a useful legal product when used appropriately ultimately responsible for people who use their products inappropriately?

What about automobile companies and their end users who get in car accidents because they did not use the vehicle appropriately.  How about social media sites and the people who abuse their service by trolling their sites to do any number of illegal and horrible things.  What about companies that produce cutlery for cooking should they be sued when people use their knives to kill someone.  You see where I am going with this.

The examples of people abusing a legal product are numerous, should all these companies be at fault.

People who use opioids as prescribed find this legal drug to be very helpful to them as the recover from some accident, should we just take that avenue of pain relief away from them?

This opioid addiction problem is real and a very serious problem but let us focus on the real reasons it is a problem and not blame the straw man or women.

Who can the rest of us sue for the overdose of government in our lives?

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595