Although prescription medications are legally recommended by medical professionals, they can still cause serious harm. To date, several popular, profitable medications have been linked to serious and fatal side effects. Some of the most dangerous prescription medications fall under a class of drugs called opioids.
There are several different prescription opioids out there, but some of the most common are:
Opioids are commonly used for patients who experience extreme pain. A patient may receive an opioid prescription after a knee surgery, as treatment for an aching back, or as a temporary remedy for a variety of other uncomfortable ailments. When opioids first hit the market, doctors prescribed them to patients without fully realizing how addictive and harmful these drugs can be. Now, however, we are aware that painkillers, while useful in their own right, can be extremely dangerous.
Opioid Damage in Indiana, PA
Not only are opioids addictive, they can also cause severe harm to the body. Some of the long-term health problems associated with opioid use are:
- Brain damage
- Liver damage
- Bowel problems
- Respiratory depression or failure
- Opioid tolerance
- Opioid addiction
Additionally, individuals who develop prescription opioid addictions are more likely to graduate to illegal drugs, like heroin. Not only is heroin illegal, it is also extremely addictive and potent, which makes it particularly dangerous. When a person becomes addicted to opioids, whether they are prescribed or illegal, it could severely alter their life and the lives of those they love. Addicts often cannot retain employment, may detach from personal relationships, and could ultimately overdose.
The Cost of the Opioid Epidemic
Unfortunately, opioid addiction affects more than just victims and their families. Between public healthcare costs, treatment facilities, law enforcement and criminal justice expenses, the government – and by extension, taxpayers – pays an extensive amount to contain the opioid epidemic. In fact, the U.S. spends tens of billions of dollars each year dealing with the repercussions of opioid addiction. For this reason, many local governments have filed lawsuits against drug companies for the costs associated with this opioid epidemic
The lawsuits against opioid manufacturers allege that the drug companies aggressively marketed their potentially dangerous drugs while downplaying or concealing the associated risks. In fact, some pharmaceutical companies engaged in lobbying efforts directed at physicians and politicians to increase opioid use to absurd levels, which ultimately allowed painkillers to hit the black market.
Moreover, some wholesale distributors of opioids may have violated the federal Controlled Substances Act for failing to alert the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of suspicious purchases connected to illegal uses of opioid drugs.
Our Western, PA Opioids Attorneys Can Help
Marcus & Mack is proud to represent governmental entities that have incurred additional costs due to the opioid epidemic in their legal action against the pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, we represent individuals harmed by opioid use and the families of individuals who have fatally overdosed.
We know how devastating the effects of opioids can be, and we understand how addiction can ruin the lives of both the addict and the addict’s loved ones. Recovering from addiction can be costly, painful, and, in many ways, your life may never be the same. If you or someone you love was harmed by overly prescribed opioids, or another dangerous drug, we want to help.