The abuse of prescription opioid painkillers has escalated into a major threat in the U.S. in recent decades, claiming the lives of more than 20,000 people in 2015 alone. Opioid overdoses (and sales) have more than quadrupled since 1999, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2014 that nearly 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered an overdose from a prescription opioid drug, and were hospitalized or know someone who died from an opioid overdose, 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.
What is an Overdose?
When a person takes too much of an opioid painkiller, they may experience a diminished level of consciousness and depressed or abnormally slow breathing, which together result in a lack of oxygen-rich (red) blood being delivered to the brain. Death is a distinct possibility with opioid overdoses that reach this point.
Which Medicines Contain Opioids?
Some of the most widely used opioid-containing drugs include:
- And more
Opioids Over-Prescribed, Off-Label Use Created “Epidemic”
To make the problems associated with opioid painkillers even more serious, many drug companies have been accused of promoting the drugs for “off-label” uses, or for purposes which have not been approved by the FDA. Additionally, doctors have prescribed the highly sought-after opiod meds to patients in huge numbers, often indefinitely, which increases their risk of addiction, overdose, or other complications.
Opiate Overdose Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose may include:
- Confusion / delirium
- Beady eyes
- Extreme sleepiness / inability to “wake up”
- Loss of consciousness
- Breathing problems (slowed or irregular breathing)
- Respiratory arrest (absence of breathing)
- Cold, clammy skin, or bluish skin around the lips or under the fingernails (jaundice)
Can I File an Opioid Overdose Lawsuit?
Only a qualified attorney can determine whether you qualify to file a lawsuit against a drug company seeking damages for an alleged injury. This is why the lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, are standing by to assist you with a 100% free case evaluation. Simply fill out the confidential evaluation form below to contact our law firm now.
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.
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.
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.
“Some states have done it,” Trump said, referring to the suits in a Cabinet meeting at the White House. “But I’d like a lawsuit to be brought against these companies that are really sending opioids at a level — it shouldn’t be happening. So highly addictive. People go into a hospital with a broken arm, they come out, they’re a drug addict.”
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.
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 an Opioid Overdose 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 injury lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new overdose cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one suffered an overdose from a prescription opioid drug, and were hospitalized or know someone who died from an opioid overdose, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.