“Induced Addiction” May Constitute Medical Malpractice Under Florida Law
When physicians prescribe medications that could be addictive, they have a duty to make sure patients understand the risks and the need to monitor for signs of addition. Unfortunately, some health care providers may be careless with their responsibilities, potentially leading to abuse and associated harm. One of the most well-known, prevalent issues involves opioid use; according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 58 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 Americans in 2017. That same year, more than 47,600 people died of opioid-related addiction and complications – more than 130 lives every day.
“Induced addiction” has become a serious problem as the demand for certain drugs increases. If you or a loved one suffered harm after becoming addicted to a prescribed medication, you should discuss your options with a Florida medical malpractice attorney.
Statistics on Prescription Drug Abuse: To put the issue of induced addiction into context, it is important to review some statistics on the prevalence of prescription drug addiction and how physicians may be negligent in enabling it.
- CDC data indicates that the overall prescribing rate of opioids has decreased in the last few years, from its high in 2012. Though the medical community has changed prescribing practices in response to the opioid crisis, the rate is still three times higher than 1999 figures.
- In 2017, more than 17 percent of Americans filled at least one prescription for opioids. On average, each patient filled 3.4 prescriptions.
- The average number of days per prescription is on the rise.
- An estimated 18 million individuals have misused or abused medications at least once per year, including opioids, stimulants, and depressants.
Physician Negligence in Prescribing Addictive Medications: Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor deviates from the accepted medical standards when providing patient care. For claims involving induced addition, a health care provider may depart from the standard of care by:
- Continuing to refill prescriptions after the need for medication should have diminished;
- Prescribing a high dosage of potentially addictive medications;
- Failing to adequately respond to signs that a patient may be misusing a prescribed drug;
- Failing to notify the patient about the potential for addiction; or
- Neglecting to monitor the patient after writing a prescription.
Patients who suffer from induced addiction to prescription medications are at risk of overdose and death.
Get in Touch with a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyer Right Away
For more information about induced addiction and your legal remedies, please contact the Miami medication errors lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. to schedule a no-cost consultation at our offices. We can explain the relevant laws and discuss your options after reviewing your circumstances.