This week, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., released a report of their research into the prescription drug problem in America. Titled “United States for Non-Dependence: An Analysis of the Impact of Opioid Overprescribing in America,” their research determined that middle-aged females get prescribed opiates in higher quantities and frequencies than other demographic groups.
Researchers also found that females age 40-59 have the highest mortality rates from opioid overdoses among women. They also cited surgery as the “gateway to persistent opioid use and potential misuse.”
Doctors who over-prescribe pain meds to post-surgical patients contribute 3.3 billion pills that can then be misused. Furthermore, the report discovered that almost 3 million surgical patients last year continued taking pain meds beyond their post-op recoveries.
The findings showed the vulnerability of these patients to abuse of opioid drugs. Researchers combed through data from over 78,000 patients in 600 private hospitals. As a co-director of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said in an interview with ABC News, “[m]ore people die from prescription opioid overdose than from heroin overdose per year.”
A Florida mom told the media outlet the story of her own addiction to opioids that began after she had cysts surgically removed from her ovaries. She said that made an appointment with a family doctor to follow up on the minor surgery. The new doctor gave her an Oxycontin prescription.
After returning to work, the woman discovered that her dependence on pain pills had become an addiction. She even overdosed two times in the presence of her children before she got clean.
Did a surgeon over-prescribe post-operative pain medications to a loved one who subsequently overdosed? You may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the Houston civil courts.
Source: ABC News, “Middle-aged women prescribed the most opioids, report finds,” Catherine Thorbecke, Sep. 26, 2017