Topic: Medical Malpractice
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16 out of every 100,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2015. Researchers at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City found that overdose deaths have become so shockingly common they are driving down the average life expectancy for Caucasian Americans. Many of these deaths can be attributed to prescription painkillers. Despite increased awareness and greater funding for opioid addiction treatment, the number of drug overdoses continues to rise and has, in fact, nearly tripled since 1999.
The reason for the staggering rate of drug overdoses may be due to an increase in prescriptions for opioid pain relievers. Research has shown that many of the people who become addicted to painkillers will eventually turn to heroin, which can be less expensive and easier to acquire. Addicted patients may also turn to cheaper synthetic opioids, which can be even more lethal than heroin or prescription opioids, and thus contribute to the dramatic increase in death rates.
Many blame the epidemic on the pharmaceutical companies, who have so much to gain in the billion-dollar industry. Responsibility may also rest with doctors who overprescribe opioid painkillers or fail to properly screen patients for signs of addition. Ironically, the over-prescription of drugs can also lead to something known as “drug cascading,” where one drug is used to treat the symptoms caused by other drugs.
If you believe that you or someone you love has developed a drug addiction or suffered an overdose due to physician negligence, contact the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP by calling 732-777-0100 today or contact us online. We will review your case for free to determine responsibility and get you the compensation you deserve. Our offices are centrally located in Edison, Toms River, and Red Bank, and we serve clients throughout the state of New Jersey.