For many years now, the United States has been facing an opioid crisis stemming from the use of both legal and illegal substances. Opioids are substances that interact with opioid receptors found on nerve cells in the brain.
These can be derived from the opium poppy, or they can be synthetically made. While some opioids such as heroin are illegal, others such as morphine, oxycodone, codeine are available via a prescription obtained from a medical doctor. For medicinal purposes, opioids have been found to be effective painkillers.
prescribed opioids for
pain wind up misusing
or abusing them.
Unfortunately, between 21 and 29 percent of patients who are prescribed opioids for pain wind up misusing or abusing them. Opioid abuse occurs when the drug is taken in a way other than how it was prescribed, such as taking a higher dose, using them for a longer time period than is recommended, or taking someone else’s prescription.
While opioids are good at relieving pain, they also produce a feeling of euphoria, which may lead to dependency, addiction, overdose, or death. Other side effects of opioids include constipation, drowsiness, confusion, and slowed breathing.
Doctors have specific guidelines they need to follow when deciding to give opioids to a patient. Even then, inappropriate prescriptions and errors may impact a patient’s risk of addiction. Many people who become addicted to opioids—both the legal and illegal kind—seek treatment, often from rehabilitation centers where negligence is becoming commonplace.
In California, lawyers that specialize in negligence are hard at work to hold these centers accountable for the treatment they deliver.