Opioid Crisis Widens, as Casualties Mount

There’s a drug addiction crisis in the USA.  Its origins aren’t back alley drug deals or organized crime.  Its origins are hospital emergency rooms and doctors’ offices all over the country.  Today in America, the drug addiction threat we face comes in the form of prescription opioids.

Opioid overdoses.

Most of us have been raised to respect “doctor’s orders.”  We take what medical professionals have to say seriously.  Few of us ever question their practices when it comes to filling the prescriptions they write.  But what if that prescription is for a potentially addictive substance?  What if it’s being prescribed in a dosage that results in overdose – even death?

The proliferation of opioid use has placed a material burden on hospital emergency wards everywhere.  Sometimes prescribed by a family doctor, sometimes stolen from local pharmacies, or obtained through illegal “pill mills,” opioid abuse has seen emergency rooms slammed with overdoses.

The Centers for Disease Control has called opioid overdoses a national epidemic.  Every year, opioid overdose causes more deaths than even motor vehicles accidents, a staggering reality.

Surgeon-General’s response.

US Surgeon-General, Vivek H. Murthy has called on medical professionals to lead the way in tackling the opioid crisis, stating that “nearly 2 million people in the US have a prescription opioid use disorder”.

The Surgeon-General has asked doctors to pledge their commitment to a three-pronged plan to curb the spread of the opioid crisis by educating themselves, screening patients for opioid use disorder and changing public perceptions about addiction.

While it’s too late for those who have suffered personal injury as casualties of the opioid crisis, it’s encouraging to see the medical community take a firm stand and lead the way in conquering this national epidemic.

Medical negligence resulting in personal injury.

If you’re a casualty of the opioid crisis or have lost a family member to this rampaging epidemic, exploring a case for medical negligence is advisable.  You most likely consumed an opioid because your doctor advised that it was appropriate for you to do so.  As the Surgeon-General’s letter illustrates, screening patients for opioid use disorder is not necessarily standard practice for physicians.

If you have become addicted to opioids, or have suffered an overdose due to an unnecessarily high dosage prescription, the medical negligence attorneys at Shebell & Shebell want to hear your story.

If you feel that your physician has not met the universally accepted “standard of care” in your instance, you may have a case.  At Shebell & Shebell, we examine each medical negligence case brought to us to determine its merits in terms of your legal standing, by reviewing all relevant documentation and medical evidence with professional care and due diligence.

Because of the opioid crisis, more and more Americans are experiencing personal injury as casualties of the opioid crisis.  If you’re one of those Americans and you feel you have a case for medical negligence leading to personal injury, call us for a free consultation.