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Is Your Doctor Liable For Prescription Pill Addiction?

If you’ve been injured or are suffering severe trauma, your doctor will prescribe a prescription to help you through your pain. These pills can be a great benefit to anyone suffering, but unfortunately many prescriptions pills are addictive. Pills like opioid painkillers, barbituate and benzodiazepine tranquilizers, and stimulants can all trigger chemical addictions in our brains and lead to an unhealthy dependency. So if your doctor has prescribed you one of these pills and you are now dealing with addiction, can they be held liable for your issue?

Prescription Pain Pill Addiction Is Growing

Over the last 25 years years, prescription pill addiction has nearly quintupled in the United States, leading to 60% of drug overdoses nationally being the result of prescription pill abuse. The Center For Disease Control estimates that 12,000 people die annually from a prescription pill overdose. Around 70% of these people had a legitimate pharmaceutical prescription. The CDC believes the problem lies from the influx of prescription pills in the market and an increase of prescriptions. Prescription pill overdose is now outpacing overdosing from street drugs.

The Most Addictive Prescription Pills

The most addictive prescription pills are opioid painkillers. Used correctly, opioid painkillers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine are used to alleviate extreme pain, especially after a traumatic injury or surgery. However, opioid painkillers are comparable to heroin and can lead to severe addictions. Many times an opioid painkiller addiction starts because they withdrawals of the medication are comparable to chronic pain, so a doctor can continue to prescribe them past the point of safe use.

Another addictive type of prescription pill are barbituate and benzodiazepine tranquilizers. Tranquilizers like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium also have very legitimate use, especially for people suffering from emotional traumas and anxieties. Continued use of these medications can lead to tolerances and intensified symptoms, so a doctor may respond to the tolerance by increasing the dosage, leading to further dependency.

Finally, stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta, can also lead to serious addiction issues. These pills are either methylphenidate or amphetamines which stimulate brain activity and can be used for treating ADHD and narcolepsy. Addiction to stimulants works a lot like addiction to tranquilizers where a patient will begin to develop a tolerance and will ultimately have very painful side effects from withdrawal, leading some doctors to adjust their dosage.

Can A Doctor Be Responsible For Prescription Pill Addiction?

When we begin one of these prescription pill regimens to treat our ailments, we trust our doctors to prescribe and monitor the pills responsibly. So if you develop a prescription pill addiction, your doctor can be held liable. If your doctor was negligent in monitoring your response to your prescription pills or has prescribed you dosages beyond what it is safe, and you developed an addiction, they are responsible. Proving liability in these cases can be tough, but prescription pill addiction from a doctor’s mishandling of prescription medications is a serious issue.

Proving Your Case

There are a couple of ways to prove that your prescription pill addiction is the result of your doctor’s negligence. First you can prove that you were over-prescribed prescription pills. You can also show that you were not offered any other options for pain relief. If your doctor continued to prescribe you pills without routine visits, they could be held liable for your addiction. Also if you’ve reported signs of tolerances or withdrawals and your doctor continued to prescribe the medication without further investigation, they could also be held responsible for your addiction.

So if you’ve developed a prescription pill addiction, you should talk to a lawyer immediately as you may have a legitimate claim. Beyond being a risk to your life, prescription pill addiction can ruin your ability to work, maintain relationships, and can result in long-term health issues, all of which can cost you big. So if your doctor is responsible for your addiction it is only fair that they pay for your losses. At All Injuries Law Firm, we understand the issues with prescription pill addiction and have over 30 years handling personal injury cases. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you.