Opioid abuse and drug addiction have reached epidemic levels across the nation, and Pennsylvania is no exception. There are a variety of dangerous drugs available on the market nowadays, but opioids, which are prescribed to relieve pain, have been gaining increased attention in recent years.
“Opioids, which include the illegal drug heroin, are one of the most lethal drugs prescribed and sold to Americans these days,” says our Philadelphia opioid drug injury attorney at The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. Since it is relatively easy to misuse and abuse opioids, many Americans develop an opioid addiction.
The extent of the opioid epidemic in the U.S.
Statistics show that there are an estimated more than 2 million people in the U.S. who suffer from substance abuse disorders related to opioids, which are prescribed as painkillers. Moreover, overdosing on opioids accounts for more than 40,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Clearly, this opioid epidemic in the U.S. has reached the level of a national crisis, which has many lawmakers up in arms about the opioid abuse and addiction. “What’s the problem? Just ban all opioids and that’s it, problem solved,” you may be thinking.
Well, it’s not that simple. When used properly – not misused or abused – opioids can help people relieve pain when prescribed for the right condition with the correct dosage. The biggest reason why so many people develop an opioid addiction is because opioids produce euphoria, which prompts people to misuse and abuse this dangerous drug without a prescription.
Opioid injury or opioid addiction lawsuits
Besides the illegal drug heroin, opioids include OxyContin, Morphine, Fentanyl, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Roxicodone, and Oxecta, among many others. In recent years, the number of lawsuits filed by patients injured by opioid use and families of victims of opioid overdose against drug manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and even doctors have skyrocketed.
However, seeking compensation for your injury or the death of your loved one due to opioid abuse or overdose is very difficult if you are not represented by an experienced opioid drug injury attorney in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania.
More often than not, whenever people hear that someone overdosed on opioids or developed an opioid addiction, their first thought is that the victim was solely to blame for overdosing or getting addicted. However, these cases are usually more complex than they seem on the surface, as another party may bear responsibility for this, too.
Who can be sued for your opioid-related injury?
Parties who can potentially be sued in opioid drug injury lawsuits include but are not limited to:
- Opioid manufacturers and distributors. There have been numerous lawsuits against drug companies and distributors arguing that they failed to warn of all risks associated with opioid use or downplayed these risks while exaggerating the benefits of opioids. More often than not, opioid manufacturers are sued by consumers for violating the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards regarding warnings.
- Doctors and other medical professionals. Most people who abuse opioids or suffer an opioid overdose get a prescription from a doctor or other medical professional. When prescribing such dangerous and addictive drugs as opioids, doctors must exercise a high standard of care, properly examine the patient, warn of all risks and side effects associated with opioids, and react immediately to any signs of drug addiction. When these steps are not taken, doctors may be sued under the legal theory of medical malpractice.
- Pharmacies and pharmacists. Many Americans get access to opioids as a result of negligent actions on the part of pharmacies, which fail to properly monitor patients’ opioid prescriptions and notice any suspicious behaviors. Pharmacies have a legal duty to report suspicious behavior to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
If you have been injured due to opioid use or your family member suffered an opioid overdose, your case may include other liable parties. Consult with our Philadelphia opioid injury lawyer from The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C., by calling at 215-543-7220. Get a free consultation today.