Urgent Care: How Attorneys Are Battling The Opioid Crisis

When recovering opioid addict Jacob was called into court in Clinton County, New York, for violating a restraining order, the judge told him he had 90 days to quit using his addiction medication, Suboxone.

Jacob, whose last name Law360 is withholding for privacy reasons, said he was “heartbroken” and afraid of possibly relapsing. But his court-appointed lawyer didn’t object, so he figured he had no choice but to get off the medication he had used to treat his opioid addiction for 13 years.

“When [the judge] told me that, I was just devastated. I didn’t even know what to do, because I know how hard it is to come off of them,” Jacob said. “I had a court-appointed lawyer, and he didn’t even care. So I figured I was done. I had to do it.”

The change is far too slow, but there is change happening.


Sally Friedman

Vice president of legal advocacy,
Legal Action Center

But five attorneys working pro bono helped convince the judge to let Jacob stay on his medication — just one way in which attorneys and legal advocates around the country are stepping up to help people affected by opioid addiction.



Posted: June 26, 2019