PALM SPRINGS, California. According to the New York Times, 47,055 people died due to opioid overdoses in 2014. Deaths are affecting people in rural areas more than those in metropolitan areas. Over the years, more doctors have been prescribing prescription painkillers to treat back pain related to workplace and car accident injuries, resulting in more people becoming addicted. Starting about twenty years ago, doctors began prescribing opioids to treat routine pain. Drug companies claimed that these drugs were safe, when in fact, they are as addictive as heroin. In fact, taking a prescription narcotic painkiller for even one day increases your chances of continuing to take that drug a year later by 6%. For some people, when doctors stop prescribing the drugs, the addiction continues. Some replace prescription painkillers with heroin because it is cheaper. However, it is much deadlier.
The New York Times reports that the Centers for Disease Control has released guidelines for prescribing painkillers. These guidelines, while they are nonbinding, set standards for doctors to consider when thinking about best practices for their patients.
However, for some patients, the guidelines have come too late. If you’ve been in a car or truck accident, you may have been prescribed prescription painkillers to treat your condition. If you’ve found yourself struggling with opioid addiction as a result, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Yet, it appears that state attorneys general are considering suing pharmaceutical companies for their marketing of opioid painkillers. This may be good news for individuals struggling with addiction after a car accident. The attorneys general are looking into whether these drug manufacturers didn’t properly inform users of the risk of opioid drugs.
If you’ve become addicted to opioid painkillers after a car accident or truck accident, the Palm Springs, California personal injury attorneys at the Ledger Law Firm can review your case and identify all stakeholders. For instance, you may be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver in your accident for your injuries, medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Under the new CDC guidelines, doctors are recommended to prescribe non-prescription painkillers first, and to only offer opioid painkillers for short-term use. However, some patients have received weeks’ worth of prescription painkillers, leading to their addiction to these drugs. If your doctor didn’t abide by CDC guidelines, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your addiction treatment and care.
Knowledge about the real dangers of prescription painkillers is starting to be more commonplace. Old practices of prescribing large amounts of these drugs will likely be done away with over the coming years. Yet, for those already suffering with back pain, chronic pain, or addiction as a result of painkillers, this news may come too late.
Finally, it is important to note that there are circumstances where individuals require regular doses of high-level painkillers. Cancer patients and other patients at the end of life may find these painkillers essential to help them get through the day. However, for those suffering from back pain or other pain, these drugs can be deadly. If you are struggling after a crash, contact the car accident lawyers at the Ledger Law Firm in Palm Springs, California today.