Addiction - Medical Malpractice Lawyer
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Addiction to Pain Medication Overview
Recreation drug use involving prescription drugs has become a serious problem in Canada, especially be teens and young adults. More teens have used and abused prescription drugs than any illegal drug. Teens think that prescription drugs are safe because they have been prescribed by a physician but they take them to get high or to “self-medicate” ailments and it can be just as addictive and dangerous as taking illegal drugs.
Prescription drugs carry very serious health risks; this is why they are only taken under the care of a doctor. Even then, they need close monitoring in order to avoid addiction and other health problems associated with narcotic and benzodiazepine use.
Many prescription medications look the same. It is extremely dangerous to take a pill you don’t really know what it is, especially if it was not prescribed for you. People have different reactions to drugs due to differences in people’s bodies. One drug could be dangerous for one person and safe for another.
In general, prescription drugs are only safe for those who actually carry a prescription for them and not any other person. The problem is that some doctors allow themselves to be “duped” or tricked into prescribing narcotics and benzodiazepines over and over again. Some doctors will tell you that they know they are prescribing to drug abusers but that they can’t seem to get out of the practice of doing so. There are prescribers that get paid to prescribe to “patients” with chronic pain. This is a dangerous practice that can lead to malpractice and possibly legal problems for the doctor.
Among those that used illicit drugs for the first time, the most common substances used were prescription painkillers. These were in people 12 and older. The non-medical use of painkillers rose by 12 percent in 2007. Ten percent of high school seniors admitted to abusing prescription pain medications in the last year.
Misuse of pain killers represents 3/4ths of all problem users of prescription drug abuse. The most common drug abused was hydrocodone. Prescription drug abuse is also climbing among older Canadians, especially involving benzodiazepines like Xanax and painkillers like OxyContin.
Doctors and rehabilitation therapists say that prescription painkiller abuse is one of the most difficult addictions to treat. The most commonly prescribed painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Methadone, Darvocet, Lortab, Lorcet and Percocet, while offering relief from pain, carry a strong addiction potential so that people need the drug in order to feel “normal”.
There are several warning signs to look out for if you are suspicious that someone you know may be experiencing some kind of dependency on addicting prescription drugs:
- An increase in usage. An increase in the frequency or dose of pill each time is a result of a growing tolerance to the drug and of needing more to get the same effect.
- Change in personality. This is a shift in mood, energy, and concentration due to needing the drug more and more. Responsibilities shift toward the drug.
- Having more social withdrawal from family and friends.
- Having continued use of painkillers after the medical condition they were meant to relieve has already resolved.
- Time spent on obtaining prescriptions. They drive longer distances and spend large amounts of time just to get their drug.
- Change in daily habits and appearance. There is a decline in personal hygiene and a change in sleeping and eating habits. They may have a runny nose, constant cough and glazed over eyes.
- They may neglect household responsibilities, including chores and bills. They more often call in sick to work or school.
- Blackouts and forgetfulness. They forget events that have taken place and will experience blackouts.
- They are more defensive about their drug use, lashing out in response to simple questions in an attempt to hide a drug dependency, especially if they feel their secret is being discovered.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers
The medical profession which includes doctors, nurses and hospital technicians usually provides a caring service with a high standard of excellence however there are occasions when things do go wrong. Our litigation service is completely free and our medical malpractice lawyers will deal with your case using a contingency fee arrangement which means that if you don’t succeed in receiving a financial settlement then your lawyer won't get paid.