On August 25, 2016 the United States Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., just sent a letter to every physician in the United States begging them to recognize that America is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. He noted: "Since 1999, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled" and the explosion in opioid prescriptions written by physicians has "increased markedly - almost enough for every adult in America to have a bottle of pills. Yet, the amount of pain reported by Americans has not changed. Now, nearly 2 million people in America have a prescription opioid use disorder...." According to the CDC, in 2012 doctors wrote 259,000,000 prescriptions for opioid pain medication.
The Surgeon General is asking the 2.3 million physicians in the U.S. to educate themselves "to treat pain safely and effectively" noting unfortunately that: "Many of us were even taught - incorrectly - that opioids are not addictive when prescribed for legitimate pain." In his letter to the medical profession, the Surgeon General has demanded that physicians read and follow the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. Secondly, the Surgeon General insists that doctors screen their patients for opioid use disorder and arrange treatment for addiction. Thirdly, the Surgeon General has advised the medical profession that: "We can shape how the rest of the country sees addiction by talking about and treating it as a chronic illness, not a moral failing."
If your physician has prescribed opioids to you, your family or friends, contrary to the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, resulting in addiction, you may call us for a free consultation to determine if there is a meritorious medical malpractice. Nevertheless, there is a responsibility owed by both the physician and the patient to be reasonable and careful with opioids. For more information regarding lawsuits against a physician who prescribes any drug, click the link below.