Watching a family member suffer with pain from an accident or chronic illness is difficult. However, what may be even more painful is seeing that loved one grow dependent on prescription drugs. You may have felt helpless as you watched your family member sink deeper into addiction, taking more risks and losing control over his or her life.
Sadly, this is the situation in many households, and you may be among those who wonder why a doctor continued to prescribe opioids to a loved one who was obviously struggling with addiction. In fact, more doctors are facing lawsuits and criminal penalties after their patients become addicted or overdose on opioid pain medication.
Who is prescribing all these Opioids?
For some doctors, their excessive prescribing of addictive pain medicine stems from greed. These doctors make a profit from over-prescribing narcotics, perhaps intentionally seeking the addiction of their patients. More likely, a family doctor dentist introduced your loved one to the highly addictive painkillers through prescriptions for legitimate pain. While the doctor may never have intended your family member to become an addict or to tragically succumb to an overdose, the continued prescribing of such powerful pain medicine is becoming the cause for legal action more often.
Did your loved one suffer a previous Opioid overdose before the fatal episode? Following that overdose, was he or she still able to obtain a prescription for the same or similar drugs? This is common in 91 percent of survivors of overdoses. Your loved one may have had an easy time obtaining a new prescription from his or her general practitioner or from an emergency room physician.
More victims’ families are taking action
Since 2011, the Drug Enforcement Agency has punished more than five times as many overprescribing doctors as in previous years. Additionally, more civil cases target pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies for the parts they play in the growing opioid dependency and overdose problem. Walgreens, Walmart and CVS are all on the defense in the face of a growing number of lawsuits.
However, you may feel, like many other suffering family members, that the doctor who continued to prescribe pain medication to your addicted loved one carries the most culpability for his or her death. If you are seeking answers to questions about holding those responsible who have brought so much pain into your family, you may find answers and comfort by contacting a New Mexico attorney.