How Serious Is the Opioid Crisis in Kansas?
According to the Kansas Health Institute, over 100 Kansans have died every
year since 2012 due to opioid overdose and addiction. Since Purdue Pharma
began manufacturing and selling OxyContin domestically in the 1990s, its
use in the United States has skyrocketed. Despite its former status as
a “wonder drug,” it has had powerful, devastating repercussions
for thousands of people, many of whom had never struggled with addiction
or substance abuse until receiving an opioid prescription from their doctor.
While heroin and other synthetic opioids are widely used and certainly
play a part in the opioid crisis, the epidemic of prescription opioid
addiction is uniquely sinister in that it often begins in a doctor’s
office. However, despite their seemingly innocent beginnings, prescription
opioid addictions have done comparable damage to heroin and the amount
of prescription opioid-related deaths has more than quadrupled in the
last 17 years.
Who Is Affected by the Kansas Opioid Crisis?
“To say that the epidemic is disproportionately white is an understatement.
It’s really striking how white the epidemic is,” according
to Andrew Kolodny, M.D., of Brandeis University. The segment of the Kansan
population that is most heavily affected by the prescription opioid epidemic
is white males, ages 35 – 54. However, anyone of any status, ethnicity,
or age can be affected if they are improperly prescribed potentially harmful
What Role Do Doctors Play in the Opioid Crisis?
Many doctors have had a direct hand in stoking the flames of the growing
opioid epidemic. By accepting kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies
and manufacturers, doctors make money when they prescribe opioid pain
medications. This means that doctors are prescribing pain medications
that people do not need or prescribing more than necessary, which puts
recipients at immediate risk of developing serious addiction and suffering
serious health consequences. Historically, over 90% of people who have
died due to an opioid overdose were prescribed opioids to treat chronic pain.
What to Do In Cases of Fatal Prescription Opioid Overdose
If you or a loved one has suffered, overdosed, or died due to a prescription
opioid pain medication-related problem or addiction, there are multiple
paths toward justice. If your doctor is found guilty of receiving kickbacks
or other illicit benefits from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for
writing opioid prescriptions, you could sue your doctor for medical malpractice.
If your loved one has died due to an opioid addiction that began with
a prescription, you may be able to sue a doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical
company, or other involved party for wrongful death, assuming that the
death in question was directly caused by any of the above. In some cases,
you may even be able to file a class action lawsuit against an opioid
supplier if they are found to be deliberate participants in the spread
of addiction, disease, and destruction of lives.
Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Wichita
If you or a loved has suffered from an opioid-related issue, don’t
wait to get in touch with someone who can help. At the Hutton & Hutton
Law Firm, LLC, our team of Wichita medical malpractice attorneys is prepared
to help you work toward righting the wrongs committed against you by your
doctor (and the pharmaceutical industry, if applicable). Whether your
case requires a class action, medical malpractice, or wrongful death suit,
we are here to serve you in resolving your case and pursuing proper compensation
for the damages you have suffered.
Call today at (316) 313-4730 or send us an email
to schedule your complimentary consultation.