Stenehjem also says the company promoted the drugs through a "pervasive and deceptive marketing campaign".
Sales of Purdue Pharma opioids are worth billions of dollars every year nationwide.
Paxton's lawsuit seeks "significant penalties" from the company for its alleged illegal conduct, and a permanent injunction to prevent future harm to Texans.
"We are disappointed that after months of good faith negotiations working toward a meaningful resolution to help the state of Tennessee address the opioid crisis, the attorney general has unilaterally chose to pursue a costly and protracted litigation process".
Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs like heroin.
Stenehjem says at least 251 people have died from opioid overdoses in North Dakota.
The "startling rise" in the number of deaths attributable to opioids did not occur by "happenstance", according to the suit.
Starting past year, Attorney General Paxton and a bipartisan group of 40 other state attorneys general have been conducting an investigation into whether companies that manufacture and distribute prescription opioids engaged in unlawful practices.
Herbert Slatery, along with a group of attorneys general, is suing Purdue in Knox County Circuit Court. Other investigations remain ongoing. Other, safer drugs, such as acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, are effective and carry fewer risks, according to the CDC. In Texas, non-fatal opioid costs to the state are around $20 billion annually, according to research from the American Enterprise Institute.