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Negligent Doctors Can Cause Patients to Become Prescription Drug Addicts

By Norman Younker on October 15, 2015


Prescription drugsThe attorneys of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC are among the finest medical malpractice lawyers in the Salt Lake City area. They have helped countless clients who have been harmed as a result of surgical mistakes, incorrect diagnoses, and problems with prescribed medications.

We'd like to focus on an important aspect of medical malpractice and prescription drugs: addiction. Sometimes it's a doctor's mistake that contributes to a patient's addition to prescribed medication.

Medications Need to Be Prescribed Responsibly

When a doctor prescribes any kind of medication to a patient, he or she needs to do so responsibly. This means noting potential allergies that a patient may have to a medication, preventing contraindications with certain kinds of medications, and prescribing effective dosages of these drugs.

Unfortunately, doctors sometimes make mistakes when it comes to medications and writing prescriptions. In some instances, this means that patients experience an allergic reaction of some kind. In other instances, a contraindication can lead to serious health problems. Yet another unfortunate outcome of negligent prescriptions of drugs is addiction.

The Dangers of Prescription Painkillers, Tranquilizers, and Stimulants

Nowhere is the threat of drug addiction more serious than with prescription painkillers, tranquilizers, and stimulants. Painkillers can offer a euphoric effect, tranquilizers can lead to relaxing effects, and stimulants can increase energy and alertness. These drugs are helpful when taken right, but they can become highly addictive if not careful.

Some examples of highly addictive prescription medications include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine
  • Amphetamines (speed)
  • Xanax
  • Klonopin
  • Valium
  • Demerol
  • Darvocet
  • Ritalin

How Addictive Are Prescription Meds?

It's been estimated that around 8 million to 8.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. This often starts during the teenage years, though many adults abuse these medications as well.

Risk of addiction can vary based on a number of psychological and environmental factors. Those who already have a substance abuse issue are obviously at higher risk of becoming addicted to prescribed drugs, particularly if the side effects of these drugs are generally positive or sought-after. A family history of addiction, early trauma, and other factors have a part to play as well. These should be considered by doctors before they prescribe any sort of drug, or at least when considering the dosage and number of refills.

Proving Negligence with Regard to Drug Addiction

Proving that a doctor's negligence led to a patient's drug addiction can be difficult. First of all, it must be shown that the doctor's actions or failure to act was directly responsible for the patient's addiction. Doctors should also inform patients of side effects, and be responsible when it comes to refills and potency of any drugs provided.

How Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help Patients and Loved Ones

Proving negligence in these kinds of cases can be quite difficult, which is why it's so important to discuss your case or your loved one's case with an attorney. By going over these matters with a lawyer, you can learn what evidence is needed to ensure that justice is served and that a negligent doctor is held accountable for his or her actions.

Speak with Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorneys

For more information about medical negligence litigation and how our legal team can help you, it's important that you contact medical malpractice attorneys today. The lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC will work with you in your time of legal need.

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