Can a Doctor Be Held Liable for Prescription Drug Abuse?


About 80% of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids. For years now, the opioid crisis has spun out of control, wrecking families across the US. 

However, despite this, prescription drug abuse continues to rise. In fact, the epidemic is affecting the lives of teenagers now more than ever before. 

With overprescription, abuse and addiction, Americans ask what they can do to fight the crisis and get help.

It’s time to ask if individuals can hold doctors liable for prescription pain medication leading to opioid addiction. To find out more, keep reading this article. 

Prescription Drug Abuse Explained

Before the 1990s, doctors used powerful opioid analgesics immediately after surgery or for terminal cancer patients. 

That started to change when pharmaceutical companies aggressively marketed new medicines like OxyContin, Vicodin, and many more.

For a long time, patients accused doctors of not taking their pain seriously. But now, doctors had a chance to help their patients get ahead of their pain with these new pain pills.

Unfortunately, overdose deaths have skyrocketed more than 1000% in just the last 10 years. Once someone is addicted to pain medication, it is challenging to stop.

If someone becomes addicted to prescribed opioids, they may eventually seek out the drug from someone who isn’t a doctor.

The accelerating rate of overdose deaths comes from people who begin using heroin and fentanyl. This is because doses are unknown.

Holding Doctors Responsible 

The opioid epidemic started with the pharmaceutical companies. However, now there is more focus on doctors who overprescribe the pain pills to their patients. Its true that prescription drugs have caused a horrible addiction crisis in the US and many other countries all over the world. One of the most worrying facts when it comes to drug abuse in 2021 is that now there are many more substances out there that are addictive and even easier to obtain over the counter. That’s right, there are substances you can easily get at most pharmacy’s that young people are abusing and using to party and get high. One of the drugs that is rapidly gaining popularity is DXM. Dextromethorphan abuse is becoming extremely common among young people who like to mix it with alcohol. It is commonly found in cough syrups which you don’t even need a prescription for. 

Doctors must always be aware of their patients’ medical history. They should never prescribe a person with past addiction an opioid. Doctors are also responsible for monitoring their patients who are taking prescriptions drugs.

If a patient has pain that never gets relieved by the medication, the doctor needs to refer them to a pain management specialist. Failure to do so can result in a malpractice case. 

Patients should not take opioids for long periods of time. Doctors need to know the correct dosages to give patients. Prescription drug abuse is too common with these highly addictive drugs.

Sometimes doctors don’t have the training or experience to properly prescribed opioids. Judges will take this into account in a malpractice case.

If you think you or someone you know became addicted to opioids from a doctor’s negligence, you want to seek professional advice. The attornies at Buckingham Barrera Law Firm can help.

You will need to gather all the documentation you have to present for the medical malpractice case. 

Remember, doctors across the countries have lost in court to malpractice cases for overprescribing pain pills. It is possible to win. 

Get Help Today 

Dealing with an opiate addiction comes with a lot of challenges. However, there is no shame in asking for help.

Even though it can be difficult to argue medical malpractice regarding prescription drug abuse, it is an option for people to pursue.

Always speak with a professional before moving forward with a malpractice case. 

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About the Author: Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she's a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.