The term “opioid epidemic” was coined in relation to the increasing amount of accidental deaths and overdoses due to opioids, a classification of drug that is derived from opium. In the medical world, they are most commonly used for pain relief and were developed as a replacement for morphine. Pharmaceutical companies marketed these drugs as less or non-addictive compared to its alternative with no dangerous side effects.
According to the Addiction Center, 80% of people suffering from an addiction to heroin started with a prescription for an opioid pain reliever.
Many of those who have become or became addicted to opioids do so after initially receiving treatment involving a pain relieving treatment. It is only after their prescription ends that the user realizes they have developed an addiction to the opioids.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that opioid overdoses at its peak in 2016 accounted for more than 42,000 deaths.
The opioid epidemic soon became too large to ignore. It has been proven that many pharmaceutical companies initially lied to doctors and physicians about the side effects and risks of addiction from opioid medications. In addition, cases of patients being over-prescribed by their doctors with pain relievers including the addictive opioid drug have become more common.
The opioid epidemic has resulted in thousands of lawsuits across the country, some producing millions in compensation.
The over-prescribing of opioid drugs by trusted doctors and proven misinformation provided by pharmaceutical companies have taken the lives of too many people. If you have lost a loved one as a result of an opioid overdose, you may be able to successfully pursue an opioid overdose lawsuit under medical malpractice. If you’re wondering whether you have a case, contact us today for a free consultation. Call our office at (800) 969-4400