Opioid addiction has become an epidemic over the past few decades in the U.S., and there are currently more than 100 people dying each day from overdosing on the drugs. This trend needs to come to a screeching halt, and can only be reversed with the help of litigation filed against those responsible for creating the problem.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one were prescribed an opioid and later suffered an addiction that led to an overdose or other injury, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: Opioid Epidemic Linked to Decline in U.S. Labor Force, Study Finds
Feb. 13, 2019 – A new study published in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity has made a convincing case for blaming at least part of a recent downward trend in the U .S. labor force on prescription opioid medications. For the ‘first-of-its-kind’ study to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, researchers at the University of Tennessee looked at causal effects of opioid addiction on the U.S. labor force after a number of employers began asking why no one was applying for job openings.
Is There Really an “Opioid Epidemic?”
The “opioid epidemic” is one of the most catastrophic health crises in modern U.S. history, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Millions of Americans are struggling daily with addiction to prescription painkillers and illegal narcotics. However, in many cases, these problems began with legal drugs like OxyCotin, which were prescribed by doctors to treat pain and discomfort from routine medical procedures.
As a result of negligent prescription and marketing practices, the opioid epidemic now costs U.S. citizens and taxpayers billions of dollars a year, according to HHS. In an effort to turn the tide, individuals and entities are filing lawsuits against doctors and pharmaceutical companies that contributed to this crisis.
Which Drugs are Opioids?
Some of the most commonly used opioid drugs include:
- And more
What Causes Opioid Addiction?
Opioids alter the brain’s chemistry by creating artificial endorphins, which block pain and illicit a pleasurable sensation. Regular use of opioids can cause the brain to become reliant on these artificial endorphins. As this occurs over time, the brain can even stop producing its own natural endorphins. The longer a person uses opioids, the more likely this is to happen. Opioid addicts also tend to need more and more the longer they use because of drug tolerance.
Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
- shallow or slow breathing rate
- nausea, vomiting
- physical agitation
- poor decision making
- abandoning responsibilities
- slurred speech
- sleeping more or less than normal
- mood swings
- euphoria (feeling high)
- lowered motivation
- anxiety attacks
Opioid Addiction Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the annual economic burden of prescription opioid abuse in the U.S. to be nearly $80 billion. The agency broke this figure down further, estimating the average aggregate distribution of economic costs as follows:
- Lost Productivity – $42 billion
- Health Insurance – $26.1 billion
- Criminal Justice – $7.6 billion
- Substance Abuse Treatment – $2.8 billion
Is the Opioid Crackdown Backfiring?
Despite its well-sounding political slogan, President Donald Trump’s highly-publicized crackdown on prescription opioid drugs has resulted in hundreds of legitimate, chronic pain patients being deprived the medications they’ve relied on for years, in many cases with dire physical consequences. Click here to learn more.
Opioid Deaths Among Children Triple in 20 years, JAMA Study Finds
December 31, 2018 – Synthetic opioid medications have produced an increased death rate of 2,925% in children and teens since 1999, according to a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The increased mortality rates associated with prescription opioids has resulted in almost 9,000 overdose deaths in young people over the past 2 decades, nearly tripling the number of pediatric opioid-related deaths during the same time period, the researchers found.
Trump Threatens Lawsuit Against Big Pharma for Opioid Epidemic
August 20, 2018 – President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened to sue companies personally that he believes are fanning the flames of opioid addiction in an attempt to profit off human misery. Trump said he’d like to file his own federal lawsuit against the companies, rather than join existing litigation.
Opioid Epidemic has “Peaked”, Says Ex-Cleveland Clinic CEO
August 14, 2018 – The opioid epidemic in the U.S., which currently kills more people than breast cancer, has “peaked,” according to Dr. Toby Cosgrove, former CEO of the Cleveland Clinic and one of the nation’s leading voices on healthcare reform.
“We’re starting to see the understanding of the problem,” Cosgrove said Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “[We] are getting to the point where people are certainty prescribing fewer drugs and people are recognizing how serious this is.”
Minneapolis Sues Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors for Contributing to “Epidemic”
July 4, 2018 – Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal has filed a lawsuit against 17 pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors for allegedly contributing to the nationwide “opioid epidemic” that now kills more people each year in the U.S. than breast cancer. The crux of the plaintiffs’ argument is that defendants’ actions in regards to marketing opioids was reckless and has resulted in a critical public health situation.
Kentucky Attorney General Files Opioid Lawsuit Against Walgreens
June 20, 2018 – Andy Beshear, Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general, has filed a sixth lawsuit against The Walgreens Company for deceptive marketing practices involving opioid painkillers. Beshear announced the lawsuit on June 12 in Boone Circuit Court, saying that Walgreens excessively distributed opioids in Kentucky and failed to report suspiciously large orders it received for the drugs.
Walmart to Restrict Opioid Prescriptions
May 8, 2018 – Walmart & Sam’s Club announced on Monday they will limit initial opioid prescriptions to no more than a 7-day supply in an effort to curb a nationwide epidemic which now kills more people than breast cancer. Walmart also said that beginning Jan. 1, 2020, it would require e-prescriptions for all controlled substances, noting that electronic prescriptions tend to be harder to forge than their paper counterparts.
Do I have a Opioid Addiction Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in opioid addiction lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were harmed by a prescription opioid drug, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.