15
Jan

My Loved One Was Prescribed Opioids and Became Addicted—Can I Sue?

January 15, 2020

If you have suffered as a result of someone you love becoming addicted to prescription opioid drugs, you and your family may be eligible for compensation. The first thing you should do is discuss your case with a drug injury attorney so they can advise you on the next steps to take.

In the past, doctors have prescribed opioids in an attempt to help their patients manage their pain, but opioid manufacturing companies withheld information that could have highlighted the risk of addiction to doctors and patients.

The Opioid Epidemic in the US

Thankfully, opioid prescriptions have decreased by 30% in the United States since 2012 when over 80% of prescriptions involved opioids in an effort to treat chronic pain. Still, over 1/3 of opioid deaths occur as a result of an addiction that began as an opioid prescription by a doctor. This issue is especially serious for Americans 65 and older as they are often prescribed opioids by their doctors to treat severe chronic pain. Countless patients and their families have been affected by addiction that started out as a prescribed medication. However, doctors and their patients are now better understanding the risks and looking for safer ways to treat chronic pain.

The Fight Against Opioid Use in Indiana

Due to the unique opioid crisis in the state of Indiana, state officials have initiated lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and sellers. The mayor of Indianapolis has spoken out on the topic, saying, “The companies contributing to this [opioid] crisis have failed in their duty to be responsible gatekeepers. These potential defendants spread the false message that opioids were safe for chronic pain and not addictive.” By naming opioid drug manufacturers as “potential defendants,” the mayor indicated that legal action is clearly necessary, both for state lawmakers as well as the patients and families who were affected. Government officials hope to force manufacturers to own their product liability and see fewer opioid addictions and overdoses in the state.

Holding Opioid Manufacturers Accountable

Those being prescribed opioids should talk to their doctor about alternative treatments that are less likely to end in drug addiction and/or overdose. At the same time, drug manufacturers are obligated to properly warn doctors and users of the dangers and possible side effects.

Product manufacturers that allow their products to harm users are liable for injury, both through a failure to warn customers and possible product defects. These charges and more may be made in your opioid addiction case. If you or someone you love has developed an addiction after being prescribed opioid medication, you must speak with a drug injury attorney right away.

Those who file a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers could receive compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and damages for pain and suffering. For more information about how a drug injury attorney in Indianapolis can help you with your case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.