Opioids

“91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.” — Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC also reports that from 2000 to 2015, more than half a million people died from prescription drug overdoses.  Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving pain-killing drugs known as “opioids” has quadrupled.

According to CDC statistics, “We know that overdoses from prescription opioids (morphine, methdone, Buprenophine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone sold under brand names such as OxyContin, Fentanyl, Vicodin, Percodan, Demerol, and Tylox) are a driving factor in the 15-year increase in opioid overdose deaths.  The amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, yet there had not been an overall increase in the amount of pain that Americans reported.”

The United States Department of Health and Human Services reported that in 2015, more Americans died from opioids prescribed by medical doctors than heroin.  And in that same year, 135,000 Americans tried heroin for the first time, mainly due to their addiction to prescribed opioid pain medication.

In 2010 alone, enough pain medication was prescribed to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month.  The Los Angeles Times reports that two California counties, Orange and Santa Clara, have sued five of the world’s largest narcotics manufacturers accusing them of causing the nation’s prescription drug epidemic by creating false advertising and unfair business practices. 

USA Today reported that in 2013, doctors wrote nearly 250 million opioid prescriptions which was enough to give every American a bottle of pills (citing the Center for Disease Control).

“California is suffering disproportionately from this problem, so it is appropriate for this state to take up this hammer.”

— Robert Fellmeth, University of San Diego School of Law professor

If you, or a loved one, has become a victim of the opioid crisis, you have legal rights. USA Today reports that, “pharmaceutical companies have aggressively marketed risky pain and addictive pain killers in recent years and have paid more than $1 billion to settle charges of illegal marketing.  If you would like a free consultation, please call The Gilliland Firm.