Fentanyl Overdoses Rising Exponentially: Cincinnati Catastrophic Injury Lawyer
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published its first account of American drug deaths in 2016, which indicates overdose deaths are growing even faster than previously thought. According to the report, drug overdoses killed about 64,000 people in the United States last year, many of them a result of the dangerous drug fentanyl. The data establishes a rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug overdose deaths recorded in 2015.
Per annum deaths involving synthetic opioids, mostly fentanyl-related, have astonishingly risen to more than 20,000 fatalities from 3,000 in just three years. The current overdose epidemic is killing Americans at a faster rate than the H.I.V. epidemic did at its peak.
These published statistics suggest drug overdoses will remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, continue to drive the overdose death count higher. Drug deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled year-on-year from 2015 to 2016.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati Catastrophic injury lawyer and Ohio medical malpractice attorney with experience in injuries due to medication errors. Mr. Lyon has represented plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of medical negligence, wrongful death and injury claims.
• Prescription opioids (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone)
According to the CDC, around 2 million Americans either abused or were dependent on prescription opioid painkillers by 2014. Reports from state health departments, county coroners and medical examiners suggest that the fentanyl overdose rate has continued to worsen in 2017. Deaths involving prescription opioids continue to rise, and many deaths involve numerous dangerous drugs, taken in conjunction with one another.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller which can be up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. This drug alone is responsible for a huge rise in addiction and death in many states including Ohio. Fentanyl is often illegally produced and distributed, though it can also be prescribed by doctors to treat acute pain.
In recent years, Ohio has ranked near the top of drug overdose rates. In 2016, over two million people in Ohio, or about a fifth of the state’s population, were prescribed opioids, leading to the deaths of more than 3,000 people.
Some Ohio doctors have faced charges of illegally distributing drugs connected to overdose deaths. Doctors have been named in complaints for prescribing deadly amounts of highly-addictive drugs through pain management clinics.
The rise in fentanyl overdoses and deaths and the persistence of the current opioid addiction have deeply affected local and state resources. As a result, Ohio and a number of other states have filed suit against pharmaceutical companies for their roles in the drug overdose epidemic.
A lawsuit filed by the Ohio Attorney General alleges that painkiller manufacturers downplay the risks of their dangerous drugs. Primary care doctors are told that true addiction is extremely rare, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Several drug makers have been sued for their role in the drug overdose epidemic.
Current Ohio litigation seeks to hold doctors, pain clinics and drug companies accountable for producing, marketing and distributing opioid painkillers without proper warnings. Health care providers, including doctors at pain clinics, are considered accountable when patients experienced Fantanyl overdoses or other opioid injury. Doctors may face civil lawsuits for overprescribing drugs like fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycodone.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury involving an opioid medication, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding fentanyl overdoses.