The opioid epidemic has raged for years now, and it doesn’t look as though there’s any end in sight. Families every day lose loved ones to opioid overdose and complications from long-term use. These deaths are wrongful, and often, the medical community, to some extent, is responsible for the death.
Wrongful death claims are a legal option that families may choose to take to get civil justice for their loss. When families experience an unexpected loss, it’s likely that they’ve lost an income source, close companion, and many life experiences because that person is no longer around to make those experiences special. If you lost a loved due to opioid use, contact our Cincinnati wrongful death attorneys today.
Opioid Epidemic History and Stats
As far back as 1999, there were drastic increases in the number of opioid-related deaths, and correlating with that number was us startling increase in opioid prescriptions. However, it wasn’t until October of 2017 that President Trump established that the opioid crisis was a public health emergency.
If we establish 1999 as the origin of the current opioid epidemic, then we can establish a timeline of a heroin-related wave of opioid deaths in 2010 shortly following the economic recession. A more recent wave hit in 2013 with a correlating rise in opioid prescriptions. Since 2014 there has been a consistent and alarming rise in deaths relating to synthetic opioids, often only available through prescriptions such as fentanyl and tramadol.
Between 2017 and 2018, synthetic opioid-related deaths increased by 10%. It is clear that the connection between The medical and pharmaceutical industries and these death rates is inarguable.
In 2018 over 67,000 people died as a result of drug overdoses, and 70% of those deaths related to a prescription or illicit opioid.
Can You Make a Wrongful Death Claim?
Yes, families will often have the opportunity to file wrongful death claims if the opioid-related deaths involved a prescription. Doctors are responsible for how they prescribe medication and for monitoring the effects of that prescription. They are also responsible for assessing and responding to drug-seeking behavior.
That means that if they initially provided a prescription for opioid use and at any point in time that patient exhibits drug-seeking behavior they should help that person seek rehabilitation and treatment for their addiction rather than continuing the prescription.
Medical professionals who failed to assess drug-seeking behavior and continue a prescription for opioids have been noted in the past as contributors towards death. That may mean that that medical professional is ultimately responsible for the wrongful death in your family.
Common Mistakes That Lead to Opioid Addiction
Of course, not every wrongful death associated with opioid overdose comes from irresponsible prescribing or practitioner habits. There are common mistakes and medical treatments that lead to opioid addiction and a lapse in appropriate response to that addiction. Patients will often place far too much trust in their doctor when conveying that something feels wrong.
Additionally, many doctors will acknowledge that the prescription medication is legal, and therefore they are not doing anything wrong by continuing a prescription. The FDA allows used for prescription medication in pain management; however, it acknowledges that it is not safe, and it can be abused. Doctors often forget, or don’t acknowledge that fact.
Finally, a comma many doctors make the mistake of not pushing alternatives pain therapy period pain management is more than taking a pill. It is possible and likely that the patient would benefit from additional medical care that goes beyond a prescription. Chiropractic care and various pain management therapies are available and supported by the medical community.
Taking Action with a Cincinnati Wrongful Death Attorney
After losing someone to an opioid overdose or misuse of the prescription drug, it may seem as though there’s nothing to be done. Many families are lost in grief and have no idea how to move forward. They are also commonly left in the dark about their legal options. Most opioid users started out as medical patients who needed a prescription to manage pain On a short-term basis. But, through manufacturers pushing these drugs, doctors prescribing them irresponsibly, and pharmacists and not reporting the improper use, many ordinary people have been lost to addiction and overdose.
The wrongful death attorneys at Young, Reverman, and Mazzei Can address your concerns regarding a wrongful death case both with compassion And understanding in regard to what your family is going to. We will help you consider your legal options, and establish if it’s possible that you can hold the manufacturer or medical professional responsible for your loved one’s death.