JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- The cities of Jeffersonville and New Albany, Indiana are joining other cities in filing suit against wholesale drug distributors over the opioid epidemic.

Jeffersonville announced plans Wednesday to sue three major wholesale drug distributors, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson Corporation. The suit blames the companies for their quote  "failure to monitor, report and halt suspicious shipments of opioids."

"We want to hold these companies accountable for dumping millions of dollars worth of prescription drugs into our community," Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said. 

In a release, New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said “The opioid crisis is spreading to communities across the nation, and we all need to be more active in learning about what we can do to prevent opioid addiction.”

After attending a prescription drug symposium in Indianapolis this week, Gahan says he learned that 4 out of 5 heroin addicts began their addiction on legal, prescription pain medications. 

Moore says the city is trying to determine the exact cost of opioid abuse and overdoses to Jeffersonville taxpayers.

"We're in the process of doing that right now. A typical phone call that comes in to 911, there are many factors that go into that. That is a police response, that is a fire response. We don't have that number right now." 

The city says the number of overdose calls emergency crews respond to has tripled in the past three years.

An attorney for Jeffersonville says they expect the lawsuit to filed in the next three weeks. 

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