Opioids are highly addictive drugs that act on the brain to alleviate pain. These can range from opioid medications that doctors prescribe to relieve pain after serious injury or surgery, as well as illicit drugs such as heroin. Common examples of prescription opioids include oxycodone, morphine, codeine, fentanyl, and hydrocodone, often known as Vicodin. While beneficial to some, these drugs can have a devastating effect on individuals and families resulting in several opioid lawsuits.
Recently states are fighting back against the growing opioid epidemic and Missouri is no exception. Last June, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a suit against Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, claiming these companies carried out campaigns that purposefully misrepresented the addictive risks of opioids, resulting in thousands of patients given unnecessary prescriptions.
“It has become clear that opioid distributors had opportunities to stem the tide of the opioid crisis, but instead chose to look the other way while making millions of dollars in profit,” Hawley said in a press release. “Opioid distributors will not receive a free pass from my office. I am committed to holding all parties responsible for this epidemic and working toward solutions that will protect and heal our communities.”
The American Society of Addiction Medicine claims drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US – and opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription opioid pain relievers and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2015. It’s important to understand the risks associated with taking opioids. Here are some key points you need to know about the opioid epidemic:
The sale of opioid pain medication almost quadrupled from 1999 to 2010 – as well as the number of overdoses.
In 2014, 15 million Americans aged 12 and up reported using prescription drugs non-medically in the past year. It’s important to store opioid medications safely and securely, out of the reach of anyone who should not have access to them.
A survey by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported in 2014 than 12.7 percent of new illicit drug users began with prescription opioid pain relievers.
What You Can Do
If you suffer from an adverse health effect related to opioids there are actions you can take.The Dysart Law Firm, P.C. has fought some of the world’s largest corporations to obtain compensation for victims of corporate negligence and greed.