The opioid epidemic is taking over communities throughout the United States, leading to addictions that ruin lives, and overdoses leading to deaths. At the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, we believe that part of the problem lies in the over prescribing of opioid medications as a result of careless and negligent medical care. If you or a loved one has suffered due to prescription opioids, our lawyers want to meet with you to discuss your case today.
HBO has made their opioid documentary ("Warning: This Drug May Kill You") available for free.
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The Rise in Prescriptions for Opioid Medications
A huge part of the problem leading to the opioid epidemic in America is the fact that doctors have begun prescribing opioids, which are highly addictive pain medications, at a higher rate than ever before. To be sure, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 1999 to 2014, sales of prescription opioid medications quadrupled. However, there was no reported change in the level of pain experienced by Americans. This means that doctors are prescribing more opioid medications, despite the fact that Americans are not suffering more pain.
The Dangers of Opioids
Opioids are very dangerous painkillers. These drugs are hazardous for two reasons: First, they are highly addictive. In fact, drugs like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin can be as addictive as heroin, meaning that once a person starts using them to treat pain, the habit can be an extremely difficult - or even impossible - one to break. Second, these drugs have deadly side effects, including health risks when used with other drugs or substances (like alcohol), worsening of conditions like sleep apnea, respiratory depression, and dependence.
Opioid addiction can ruin a person’s life, leading to crime, severe health problems, loss of employment, and more. According to Consumer Reports, about 17,000 people die per year as a result of opioid overdoses.
Who Is Liable for an Opioid Overdose?
When an opioid overdose leads to loss of life, it can be easy to put the blame on the victim themselves, calling them an addict and saying that they should have known better. However, addiction is much more complex than that, and opioids are legal drugs that people are often given from the doctors and healthcare professionals whom they trust. Doctors and pharmacists should exercise discretion in prescribing these drugs, and commit to treating patients with a high duty of care. These drugs should not be given out lightly, and if addiction is suspected, a prescription should never be refilled.
Contact Our Law Offices Today
At the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, we have seen how the opioid epidemic in American can ruin lives and tear families apart. If you are impacted, we can help you to determine if a doctor or pharmacist breached the medical standard of care owed to you or a loved one, and should be held liable for addiction and harm. We have already filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three hospitals and local pharmacies on the behalf of one woman who tragically overdosed after taking prescription opioids, and are prepared to fight hard on your behalf, too.
Please contact us today for a free consultation. We are ready to review your case and help you pursue damages.
Napoli Shkolnik filed a wrongful death lawsuit in St. Louis, MO on behalf of a mother of 3 who overdosed on prescription opioid pain medication.