According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids are drugs that speed recovery from injuries by blocking pain pathways to the brain. Doctors prescribe them because they provide faster relief than over-the-counter pain remedies. Opioids don’t heal the cause of the patient’s pain. Instead, they’re a narcotic painkiller that simply blocks pain signals to the brain.
The Benefits of Pain Medication
Opioids make the patient feel better so they can quickly return to their ‘normal’ quality of life. Pain-free. For example, they help injured workers get back on the job quickly so they can provide for their families. They help weekend-athletes return to their healthy recreational routines. They provide pain relief from chronic arthritic joints. These are among the positive benefits of opioids and, since they are prescribed by their doctor, people think they’re safe to use.
The Negative Effects of Recreational Opioid Use
But, there’s another side of these narcotic pain relievers. These drugs also cause a feeling of euphoria, leading some people to use them recreationally. Young family members are particularly vulnerable to the artificial ‘high’ opioids can create. As with any narcotic, opioids alter brain functions and are addictive. Addiction and death from the abuse of opioids have created a crisis in America.
As an attorney every day I fight for victims in Chicago and throughout Illinois on personal injury, Workers’ Compensation, and medical malpractice claims. I help workers and patients hold physicians and drug manufacturers accountable to provide safe and effective medication.
The Dangers of Prolonged Opioid Use
Since opioids are narcotic painkillers, they are addictive and can lead to serious harm if taken in the wrong dosage and for a prolonged period of time.
Prolonged use may lead to:
- Decreased respiration
- Brain damage
- Liver damage
Patients have also suffered more severe side effects from an overdose including coma, pinpoint pupils, restricted breathing, vomiting, cardiac arrest, and delirium.
The opioid epidemic has claimed thousands of lives and created millions of addicts. There needs to be legal relief for victims.
Who is Responsible?
Proving liability in opioid overdose cases is difficult. While it is heartbreaking to lose a family member to these drugs, it is difficult to convince a jury that physicians, drug manufacturers, or drug distributers are responsible when their loved one took the medication and may have ignored the use instructions on the prescription label. Pharmaceutical companies, drug wholesalers, and physicians argue that the victims were at fault by abusing the prescription.
Nevertheless, it is the physician’s responsibility to prescribe a safe and effective dosage of any drug including opioids. The physician must use reasonable medical judgment in treating their patient and in managing their pain.
If your doctor negligently prescribes an unsafe dosage or fails to monitor your condition while taking the opioid, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
We Help Victims
The Attorneys at Friend, Levinson & Turner Law apply a disciplined approach to gain a comprehensive perspective of the facts, issues, injuries experienced, and treatments prescribed for victims of work-related injuries and medical malpractice claims. Our knowledge, experience, insight, and advice are invaluable. We help you navigate the claims process and avoid mistakes that may weaken your case. We ensure that no legal deadlines are missed, advise you of realistic compensation, and keep your case moving forward.
Big corporations and insurance companies rely on professional adjusters to negotiate. In order to deal with these professionals, you need a highly-trained, skilled attorney to protect your rights. We know your rights and the applicable laws. We are your advocates. We are experts at negotiating with powerful insurance companies. Experience counts.
We make the legal process as stress-free as possible. We focus on recovering compensation for you – while you focus upon your physical recovery.
If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of others, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.