While many had maintained hope that the opioid epidemic would be under control by now, a recent report issued by officials across Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia found that overdose deaths increased by nearly 11.5% in those states from 2016 to 2017. Worse still, this jump in deaths comes after 100 fewer prescriptions for opioids were given by doctors last year, due to a nationwide effort from drug control agencies to manage this tragic problem. As recently as August, there was even a surge in overdoses in Montgomery County, as well as several other Ohio townships and suburbs; although accidental deaths have thankfully been reduced in those areas as compared to last year. With so many grim forecasts for the opioid epidemic, it’s possible that you or a loved one close to you has been affected by this tragic issue.
The Legacy of Opioid Prescription and Medical Malpractice
The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that out of all 50 states, Ohio currently ranks 5th for the highest rate of overdose deaths related to opioid abuse. Because the primary source of these deaths is the synthetic opioid known as fentanyl and other illegal drugs, it can be hard to see how the medical industry could be responsible for this problem. While much of the blame rests with the drug dealers and cartels that trade in these addictive and dangerous substances, part of the reason Ohio ranks so high in overdose deaths is due to the high rate of opioid prescriptions prior to 2015. Doctors in our state wrote nearly 9.96 million prescriptions then, much higher than the average rate nationwide.
Did a Negligent Doctor Cause Your Addiction to Fentanyl?
If you or your loved one has been affected by addiction to fentanyl or other opioid substances, you know firsthand how much devastation it can wreak. One study found that doctors who had a single expensive dinner covered by a major drug company were far more likely to prescribe that drug – and the rates of prescription only increased with additional perks. Although prescription rates are finally dropping, the damage has already been done, and the recent increase in deaths is the tragic result. It’s high time we hold negligent doctors accountable for their role in this continuing problem. Our team of medical malpractice lawyers in Toledo has successfully sought compensation for injuries for over 100 years combined, and we are driven to win for our clients. If you believe a negligent doctor was responsible for prescribing opioids and causing addiction, you can contact our Toledo medical malpractice lawyers for a free consultation.