Opiate painkillers have been around for over a century, although their cousins, synthetic opioid painkillers, are newer medications. Both of these families of drugs offer substantial pain management for those with severe or chronic pain.
Unfortunately, they can also create the risk of addiction and overdose. Those risks are why pain management medications are some of the most carefully controlled drugs in the country. Doctors have an obligation to the public to take great care with how they prescribe and dispense pain medication as part of their practice.
Doctors can prescribe too high of a dose or too many pills
There is a fine line between being compassionate for those with serious pain issues and enabling those with a chemical dependency. Doctors who prescribe too many pills in an individual prescription or who give patients too high of a dose of pain medications put those people at increased risk for both addiction and overdose.
Doctors should carefully monitor their patients and help them taper off of pain management drugs when they are no longer medically necessary. Failing to properly manage end of pain relief care is dangerous too, as those dependent on opiate or opioid drugs may turn to unregulated markets when doctors cut them off suddenly.
If you developed an addiction because of bad prescribing habits or if you lost a loved one because a doctor prescribed too many pills or too much of a pain medication, the medical professional involved may be responsible. If there was inadequate review or monitoring by a doctor, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim related to those prescription drug mistakes.