South Charleston council pass drug nuisance resolution

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — South Charleson City Council voted on Thursday in favor of a resolution declaring the misuse of opioids as a public nuisance.

The resolution comes as the city is involved in a multi-municipality lawsuit against drug manufacturers over the effects of the opioid crisis.

The city was previously not involved in the challenge involving multiple West Virginia municipalities, but Charleston attorney Rusty Webb approached the city about getting involved.

South Charleston city manager Rick Atkinson said the matter has not affected the state much financially, but rather socially.

“With our calls to the city and police department, as we look at them, it wasn’t that big of a financial impact,” he said. “However, I think what the courts will look at was the impact of the social part. There are families in South Charleston that were impacted either through addiction or overdose deaths.”

Webb is representing more than 30 West Virginia municipalities in the ongoing legal challenge, including Charleston, Huntington and Dunbar.