Officials with the National Safety Council (NSC) recently release its report, Prescription Nation: Addressing America’s prescription drug abuse epidemic. The study reveals that 47 states must improve their current standards if they are going to try to drop the number of fatalities involving prescription drug use and overdoses. For this reason, officials with the NSC are calling on states to take action to better their system for monitoring, prescribing, treating and making available various kinds of opioid pain relievers.
In many of these cases, it’s not always the patient’s fault. Oftentimes, physicians can be held responsible for over-prescribing or falsely prescribing. And our Cape Coral personal injury attorneys know prescription drug abuse is an often overlooked cause of serious and fatal traffic accidents in South Florida.
The truth of the matter is that prescription drug abuse has become a serious issue. Some are even referring to it as a public health epidemic– particularly in South Florida, which has some of the most prolific pain clinics in the United States. According to the latest statistics, there are close to 50 people who die each and every day because of overdoses of prescription pain relievers. These fatalities account for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. Some studies even conclude that there were enough prescribed pain killers handed out in 2010 to be able to medicate ever adult in the U.S. around the clock for a complete month.
For the very first time since WWII, there was new top killer of U.S. residents (between the ages of 25 and 64) that wasn’t car accidents.
Florida, Kentucky and 8 other states have enacted legislation that significantly reduced or eliminated pill mills in those states. However, many of these businesses have moved to other, less regulated, states.
At the same time, the well-documented experiences of states such as Florida and Kentucky demonstrate how the movement of prescription drugs across state lines can contribute to problems in nearby states.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s office reported that 60 percent of the prescription medications seized by law enforcement were prescribed, dispensed and brought to Kentucky from Florida and neighboring states.
Doctors, hospitals, nurses and clinics are liable for a patient’s death from a prescription drug overdose when they prescribed or gave too much of the medication to the patient, and that medical error caused the patient’s death.
Prescription drug abuse knows no age. The elderly are vulnerable because they’re more likely to take many medications, often long term. Also, women may be as much as 55 percent more likely to be prescribed drugs that can be abused, such as narcotics and tranquilizers; therefore, their risk is greater, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). At the same time, it’s more common in young people. The prescription drugs most often abused include painkillers, sedatives, anti-anxiety medications and stimulants.
If you or someone you love has been injured, contact the Hollander Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. There is no fee unless we win. Call 888-751-7770 today!