Your problem probably started out pretty small. Maybe you got into a car crash and had soft tissue pain or a broken bone. Perhaps you had surgery and needed pain relief while you recovered from the procedure. Your Hackensack doctor was more than willing to prescribe you painkillers. In fact, they may have insisted on those medications even if you were nervous about taking them.
Your doctor prescribed more pain pills than were reasonable for your condition, and when it was time to stop, you realized you didn’t want to. Maybe you discovered that you couldn’t stop taking the pills without serious discomfort and withdrawal symptoms.
Now you find yourself dealing with the very real specter of opioid or opiate addiction. It could cost you your job, your freedom or even your family. Recovery services exist, but they are incredibly expensive. If you can’t pay, you may worry about what options you have. Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to take action against a doctor who puts profit over realistic and safe patient care.
Federal and state prosecutors now scrutinize doctors for pain medication
In the last decade, opioid and opiate addiction rates have gone through the roof in the United States. The number of overdose deaths has also reached horrifying levels. Prohibition hasn’t helped. Attempting to hold addicts accountable for their dependence on a narcotic substance has done almost nothing to deter users.
Now, state and federal agencies are looking to both the doctors that prescribe medication and the companies that make and market narcotic painkillers to stem the rising tide of opioid and opiate addiction. Even in a situation where your doctor may not meet the requirements for legal prosecution, you may still have some options.
A civil lawsuit against your doctor could help you recoup the expense involved in seeking the intensive therapy that is often necessary to overcome opioid addiction. If your doctor over-prescribes dangerous medication, that could be a form of medical malpractice.
Was your doctor irresponsible, negligent or pushy when prescribing?
Doctors should always put the best interest of their patients first when making important medical decisions. Access to painkillers is critical for the quality of life and recovery for many patients. However, doctors need to be realistic and prudent in how they dispense drugs that pose a significant risk of addiction and overdose.
If you felt that your doctor pressured you into taking the pain medication or if your doctor clearly prescribed far more than was necessary, you may have grounds to hold your doctor accountable for improper medical practices.
Discussing your situation in depth with a medical malpractice attorney is the first step toward determining what rights and options you have when dealing with a prescription-related addiction issue in New Jersey.