Addiction and Overdoses Have Skyrocketed
Opiates are a class of drugs derived from the poppy plant and include heroin, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and similar compounds. Over the last twenty years, opiate medications have been prescribed in huge numbers to combat conditions such as chronic pain. Unfortunately, these medications are susceptible to abuse and misuse. As the availability of opiates and opioids has increased, so have emergency room visits and deaths related to overdose. And while the epidemic occasionally makes headlines when a celebrity such as Prince succumbs to overdose, it quietly continues after the news cycle has passed.
What’s Behind the Increase?
The Unites State is responsible for two-thirds of the world’s prescription painkiller consumption. Part of the reason can be attributed to the lobbying efforts of pharmaceutical companies, which seek to establish a favorable climate for promoting their products. Alternative options, including medical marijuana and other medications, are downplayed or unduly disparaged. Drug makers are generating record profits off of addictive and expensive painkillers. Doctors are accepting payments from pharmaceutical representatives to provide medications to their patients. Meanwhile, patients are paying the price, not only with their wallets but also with their long-term health.
When profits are more important than patient safety, the environment is right for medical malpractice and other wrongdoing to occur.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.