Tag: painkiller epidemic

A Controversial Court Decision about Painkiller Prescription

A Landmark Legal Decision about Painkillers

suing doctors for overprescribing

The West Virginia Supreme Court recently issued a landmark ruling. Their decision, simple as it may seem, has opened the floodgates for doctor accountability and possible manipulation of the legal system.

I’m talking about West Virginia’s decision to allow patients to sue pharmacies and doctors for negligently prescribing opioid painkillers and “enabling addiction.”

The court’s decision isn’t without its fair share of opponents and criticism. We’ll touch on that below, but first let’s look at what spurred this recent legal ruling.

Why are officials calling painkiller abuse “the biggest health concern in America?”

Doctor Sanctioned Addictions

The Mountain Medical Center may be nothing but a name to you or I, but for twenty-nine West Virginia residents it was the center of hell.

At least that’s what a recent lawsuit alleges. These twenty-nine former patients filed a class action suit against the Mountain Medical Center, its doctors, and several pharmacies.

They sought treatment after work or car related injuries and were, allegedly, overprescribed powerful painkillers.

The FBI shut down Mountain Medical Center in 2010. During their investigation of the clinic, they found ample evidence of over prescription and improperly prescribing controlled substances.

The crooked pill mill doctors include Katherine Hoover, the one time top prescriber of opioid painkillers in West Virginia. They also include Dr. William Ryckman and other clinic doctors and managers. Several of those named in the suit were already sentenced to federal prison.

It’s also worth noting that many of the former patients admitted to struggling with addiction in the past. They admitted this to Mountain Medical Center staff and were prescribed oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other powerful opioids. Something doesn’t quite add up.

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Arguments Against the Ruling

As mentioned above, there have been a fair share of arguments raised against West Virginia’s recent Supreme Court ruling. These range from mild to severe denouncements of culpability.

Critics say that juries are now going to have to sort through complicated and unpleasant situations to decide who’s most at fault – doctors or addicts. Critics also noted other states have adopted similar legal practices, but with something called a wrongful conduct rule.

This is basically an asterisk placed next to allowing patients to sue medical professionals. It disqualifies patients who are doctor shopping and engaged in other criminal activity from suing for negligent prescribing.

The West Virginia Medical Association weighed in on the ruling. They issued the following statement,

“It may cause some physicians to curb or stop treating pain altogether for fear of retribution should treatment lead to patient addiction and/or criminal behavior. It may create additional barriers for patients seeking treatment for legitimate chronic pain due to reduced access to physician. It would allow criminals to potentially profit for their wrongful conduct by taking doctors and pharmacists to court” (WorldNow News).

Is This Ruling Good or Bad?

What’s the final verdict? Does allowing patients to sue their doctor or pharmacy do more good or bad? Is it a step forward in patient empowerment or a loophole allowing criminals to profit?

Well, it all depends on the individual case. Unfortunately, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. In some cases, giving patients the right to take crooked doctors to court is a great tool. In others, it allows addicts to place blame on others and manipulate the system.

Regardless of particular situations, this ruling will require a lot of oversight. There needs to be participation from local police and healthcare providers, the DEA, the FBI, and all other agencies that monitor prescription drug data.

Basically, allowing patients to sue doctors and pharmacies will be difficult to pull off. Ultimately, I believe, it’s a positive shift towards stemming this country’s opioid dependence.

Will it fix everything overnight? Not a chance. It will, however, begin to empower ordinary citizens. It’ll allow men and women an opportunity to fight back against overprescribing physicians and that, my friends, is priceless.

Where is Narcan available without a prescription?

Oxycodone Addiction: The Truth Behind Facts and Statistics About the Deadliest Painkiller

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Oxycodone Addiction Facts and Statistics

oxycodone addiction facts

Oxycodone addiction is nothing new. The drug was first synthesized in 1916 and abused for its euphoric effects not long after. However, today we’re in the midst of an oxycodone abuse epidemic, the likes of which haven’t been seen before.

Can we trust the media’s portray of oxycodone? Are their oxycodone addiction facts true? Is it really the most dangerous drug? What about their oxycodone addiction statistics? Are adolescents everywhere really popping and sniffing oxy’s?

Learn accurate oxycodone addiction facts and statics with Lighthouse Recovery Institute.

The difference between pain pills and heroin may be less than you think

Oxycodone Addiction Facts

Find six oxycodone addiction facts below:

• Popular oxycodone products include: OxyContin (time release oxycodone), Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen), Roxicodone (pure oxycodone), Endocet (generic oxycodone and OTC analgesic mixtures), and Percodan (oxycodone and Aspirin).

• All oxycodone products are classified as Schedule II narcotics by the DEA. This means they have a high potential for abuse.

• In 2012, upwards of seven million oxycodone prescriptions were written.

• The Department of Justice reported that over ten million people have abused oxycodone at least once in their lives.

• Although oxycodone abuse is nothing new, it was the release of OxyContin in 1996 which sparked the current oxycodone epidemic.

• Starting in 2010, “abuse-proof” versions of popular oxycodone pills became available.

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Oxycodone Addiction Statistics

Find six oxycodone addiction statistics below:

• In 2004, over three million people abused oxycodone for the first time.

• According to the New York Times, oxycodone prescriptions in New York State rose 82% between 2007 and 2010.

• In 2007, the U.S. consumed over 80% of the world’s oxycodone.

• In 2006, oxycodone pills sent over 64,000 people to the ER.

• By 2010, this number rose to over 182,000 people.

• Also in 2010, 2% of eighth graders, 4.6% of high school sophomores, and 5.1% of high school seniors admitted to engaging in oxycodone abuse.

Why are some people saying there’s new hope in America’s opioid overdose epidemic?

What Do These Oxycodone Addiction Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

These statistics and facts about oxycodone addiction are troubling! They show we’re in the midst of an explosive oxycodone epidemic. They show that oxycodone is an incredibly dangerous drug.

The above facts about oxycodone addiction show that something needs to be done. There are strict government regulations over the prescribing and dispensing of oxycodone, yet the drug is still illegally available. There are abuse-proof forms of oxycodone pills, yet people are still abusing them. What can we do?

The answer lies not in strict regulations or safer pills, though those are certainly necessary. The answer lies in you and me, in our friends and loved ones, in talking about the problem honestly.

See, once we address the negative impact oxycodone is having across America, we can begin to come up with a solution. Will this happen tomorrow? Probably not. However, what these facts about oxycodone addiction make incredibly clear is that we need to start the process. After all, if nothing changes, then nothing is going to change!

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